Sen. Warren: Every family deserves high-quality child care


    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., acknowledges applause at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's 60th Annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren told New Hampshire Democrats on Friday that she proposed a universal child care plan because no American family should experience the desperation she did as a working mother to find safe, reliable, quality child care.

    "We're the richest country in the history of the planet," Warren told a room of about 1,000 people at the state Democratic Party's biggest fundraiser. "Access to high-quality care and education during the first five years of a child's life shouldn't be a privilege reserved for the rich. It should be a right for every child."

    The Massachusetts senator delivered her remarks during her second visit to the state since announcing her presidential bid.

    Warren would pay for universal child care with a 2 percent tax annually on households' net worth greater than $50 million. Under the plan, no family would pay more than 7 percent of its income for child care, and families earning below 200 percent of the federal poverty line — about $51,000 a year for a family of four — would pay nothing.

    Warren said her plan would give all families access to the kind of child care the federal government currently provides military families.

    "When a working family here in New Hampshire is paying a quarter of their income to cover child care, a Republican-controlled Congress decided it was more important to pass a trillion-dollar giveaway to the wealthiest and giant corporations," Warren said, referring to the 2017 tax overhaul.

    Local communities would oversee their child care, preschool and in-home providers under Warren's plan, but they would be held to national standards. Warren said her plan would benefit women especially because they, more often than men, give up jobs and careers when families can't find child care.

    Earlier this week, Warren said she supports reparations for black Americans who have been affected by slavery. Warren addressed race in her speech Friday but didn't speak specifically about reparations. She said black families in America have been disadvantaged by "structural racism" and have only $5 in wealth for every $100 in wealth owned by the average white family.

    "Race matters and we need to say so," she said.

    In response to media questions after her remarks, Warren said she would support reparations for many minority groups, including Native Americans. She has been criticized for claiming Native American identity early in her career and apologized recently to the Cherokee Nation for releasing DNA test results as evidence she had Native American in her bloodline, albeit at least six generations back.

    "America has an ugly history of racism. We need to confront it head on, and we need to talk about the right way to address it and make change," Warren said. Asked whether she would include Native Americans in her support for reparations for black Americans affected by slavery, Warren said, "I think it's a part of the conversation. It's an important part of the conversation."

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