After Ivanka’s Photo Op, Sen. Brittany Pettersen Slams Donald Trump and Cory Gardner’s Failed Record on Child Care
Denver, CO – After Ivanka Trump’s photo op in Denver today, State Senator Brittany Pettersen called out Donald Trump and Cory Gardner’s long record of broken promises to Colorado’s working families, including child care. Pettersen was the one of the first state senators in Colorado history to give birth while in office and has been a fierce advocate for paid family leave.
“Ivanka Trump’s photo op today did nothing to change the devastating toll that Donald Trump and Cory Gardner’s broken promises have taken on working families across Colorado. As a candidate, Trump pledged to lower child care costs, but four years later, he has failed to deliver at every turn — and working families are paying the price. Now, Trump’s failed coronavirus response has thrown America’s child care crisis into sharp relief, and the responsibility of caring for kids has fallen disproportionately on women. Trump and Gardner’s failure to deliver on child care is proof that they’re completely out-of-touch with the challenges that Colorado families are facing, including my own. Coloradans deserve better and this November, we’ll elect leaders like Joe Biden and John Hickenlooper who will put working families first.”
It’s the same empty publicity stunts to grab headlines without any actual help or follow through. Meanwhile, while Trump and Gardner have failed on child care, here’s a few things Senator Pettersen and her Colorado General Assembly colleagues have accomplished in the past few years under local Democratic leadership:
- Paid Sick Leave
- A Strategic Plan to Address Infant and Family Childcare Home Shortages
- Expanding the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program
- Full-Day Kindergarten
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP AND GARDNER’S FAILED LEADERSHIP
Promise: In 2016, Donald Trump promised to lower child care costs for families and even signed a contract with American voters pledging to introduce and pass legislation on affordable child care within his first 100 days.
Reality: In reality, Trump broke his promise: he didn’t even introduce, let alone pass, this bill. Meanwhile, his proposals have utterly failed to meet the needs of working families who need relief the most and instead, would be a “gift to the rich.”
Reality: At a Chamber of Commerce event last fall, Gardner made clear that “he has no interest in raising the federal minimum wage, instituting a mandatory paid-family-leave system for employers nationwide or launching a public-option health plan to compete with existing private insurance plans.”
Promise: “I will tell you, Ivanka Trump wants child care taken care of, and we’re going to that, okay?” [Trump Campaign Rally, 9/21/16]
Reality: During the coronavirus crisis, women have been disproportionately likely to be laid off, to have left the labor market, or to quit their jobs to care for their families. Meanwhile, Colorado’s child care system has been pushed to the financial brink in the midst of the pandemic.
Reality: According to Bell Policy Center, Colorado is “consistently near the bottom in terms of child care affordability” among states. In fact, Colorado is the seventh most expensive state for child care in the country, and child care is one of the biggest expenses that families face. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “a typical family in Colorado would have to spend 37.9% of its income on child care for an infant and a 4-year-old.”
Reality: Even after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration scaled back paid leave requirements for employers, allowing many companies to decline to provide sick leave for child care. Some 17.7 million health care workers were excluded from emergency paid leave, 75 percent of whom are women and 39 percent are people of color.
Promise: We’re going to make child care expenses tax deductible for working families. And just many, many other things. I mean we’re going to make some unbelievable changes.” [Trump Campaign Rally, 8/9/16]
Reality: Trump and Gardner’s tax scam helped the wealthy at the expense of working parents, reducing the value of the child and dependent care tax credit for many working families while handing massive giveaways to billionaires and corporations.