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Rep. Porter Introduces Bill to Help Working Families during Pandemic

Congresswoman’s legislation would support Americans taking on new caregiving responsibilities as a result of coronavirus emergency

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today introduced legislation with Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) that would strengthen a program to help working families during the coronavirus pandemic. The Support Working Families Act makes it easier for Americans serving as caregivers to get relief if their children or other dependents are unable to go to school or a childcare facility due to COVID-19.

“As the coronavirus pandemic has made it unsafe for childcare facilities to operate as usual, working families are feeling the squeeze,” Congresswoman Porter said. “People shouldn’t be forced to choose between making ends meet and taking care of their kids. I’m proud to introduce legislation that would improve how we get relief to Orange County families during this pandemic.”

“Parents across the country are struggling to work full-time and care for their children at home. At the start of the pandemic, House Democrats led the fight to secure expanded unemployment benefits for working parents who faced the impossible choice of child care versus work,” Congresswoman Sánchez said. “With the coronavirus nowhere near under control, many families will head into the fall with no choice but to keep their kids at home. Our bill makes clear that these families facing any type of child care closures or cutbacks will be eligible for the benefits they have earned.”

Under legislation signed into law in March, workers can get pandemic assistance if they have to leave their jobs to serve as caregivers for children or other dependents whose schools or childcare facilities are closed due to COVID-19. Porter’s Support for Working Families Act clarifies that this program covers families burdened by partial closing of care centers or operating at reduced capacity, substantial increases in the cost of dependent care, or health risks for the family. 

Throughout her time in Congress and especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Congresswoman Porter has been a staunch advocate for protecting children. In early July, she and Senator Kamala Harris blasted the Trump Administration for failing to communicate a plan to school districts on how to reopen safely ahead of the upcoming academic year. One of her first bills in Congress was the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, which would allow families to set aside more pre-tax income for dependent care.