WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Tuesday, President Biden signed a sweeping executive order designed to reduce the cost of caregiving.
The order directs federal agencies like the Department of Labor, Veterans Affairs and Education to find new ways to improve wages and work conditions for care workers and provide more flexible options to families seeking services.
“Family care workers are doing God’s work taking care of our children, our parents,” Biden said. “We’re doing all of this why? Because the cost of care is too high,” Biden said.
Ai-jen Poo, the president of National Domestic Workers Alliance, called it a “huge step forward,” saying improving wages for care workers is vital.
“You have high rates of turnover that also impacts the services and access to care that families need, so it becomes a vicious cycle whereas if we make them good jobs it actually becomes a virtuous cycle,” said Poo.
This executive order does not include new spending to directly subsidize child care costs. To do that, the president is asking congress to set aside $750 billion in next year’s budget.
Heather Boushey, White House economic advisor, said some agencies will adopt changes quickly.
“This administration is doing what it can do to make care more affordable and accessible while we wait for Congress to act,” she said.
Republicans like Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance agree the cost of care is too high, calling it a “major problem for families.”
But House Republicans are pushing back against the president’s request for new spending.