Vice President’s Ceremonial Office

2:38 P.M. EDT

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I want to, on behalf of our administration and the President, thank these incredible leaders who are national leaders and international leaders in business and in civic affairs. 

I want to thank you all for joining us this afternoon for this very important conversation, which is about childcare and what it means in terms of the benefit to our economy, the benefit to our families, the benefit to the strength of our nation, and our ability to role model to the world what it means to be an economy that is strong, that pays attention to many issues, including the issues of families, and the strength and wellbeing and health of families.

So, the conversation that we plan to have today is also after the Senate Democrats approved a budget resolution to proceed on what we call our Build Back Better plan.  And a big part of that plan really is about what we can do, from a policy perspective, that will benefit the infrastructure of households, the infrastructure of families, and, in that way, strengthen our ability to be a society that is productive, but also addresses what have been some of the longstanding, frankly, fissures and failures of our system.

The pandemic in many ways highlighted some of those, including the need for all people to — who are families, who have children, to have affordable childcare.  I know that — that some of the business leaders here will also talk about how the work that you have done that has been modeling the priority around childcare benefits workers with children and those that don’t have children, and benefits all society regardless of whether a family or an individual has a child.

Affordable childcare, we know, relates to both a business’s ability to recruit talent and retain talent.  We know that it directly impacts worker productivity and, in a way, the bottom line of your businesses.

We know that it, when we prioritize it as a nation, contributes to our ability to be competitive globally in terms of what we know is still an ongoing challenge for our nation, which is to keep up with what is happening around the world. 

And I will say that this, of course, follows on the heels of the work we did around the American Rescue Plan, which expanded the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit — we call it the “Child Tax Credit” — which is going to lift half of America’s children out of poverty. 

It expands on the work that we have done, which is a $39 billion investment in childcare for families and providers.  And a lot of our work also has been designed to help not only families with children, but those who are responsible for the caregiving of seniors and people with disabilities. 

So that’s the discussion we’re going to have today.  Again, I want to thank you all for your leadership, for your commitment, and for the partnership that we have.  And for the folks who are here virtually, I thank you as well. 

So I look forward to our conversation and — and with that, again, I thank you.  Okay.  Thank you all.

Q    Madam Vice President, is Afghanistan lost to the Taliban?  Is Afghanistan lost to the Taliban?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I am going to leave here to continue the briefings that we’ve been receiving, and we’ll keep you posted.

2:42 P.M. EDT

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