tv Hearing on Women in the Workforce and the Economy CSPAN June 15, 2022 10:48am-12:01pm EDT
>> think back to when i was in high school and the vocational bus, those were always the troubled children. we've got to change the mindset of the parents in america that the four-year college career -- path is not for everyone. there are great construction trade careers for people. and to support those just as much as we do the college career path. >> absolutely agree. my oldest son is a welder, family-owned business. loves it. works 68 hours a week and can't get enough of it. i think you're right, we need to change the minds of parents to understand how important that is. and how important it is unless we get americans back to work
we'll see higher inflation and higher housing for years and years to come. thank you, miss huey, for your testimony. >> let me recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett, to inquire. mr. doggett: thank you so much for your compelling testimony. your experiences really give a better picture of what life is like in the real world for working families. in addition to the human cost, obviously the emotional cost that you described today i think the economic cost is very real. as we have lower participation of women in the work force. and related work force shortages that we are hearing about from one business sector after another. navigating childcare and parenting in this pandemic clearly can cause the type of crushing burden that you have described. even parents who can afford childcare who each morning drop off their child are uncertain whether they'll be called because of a quarantine to pick
up their child. i know personal instances of that in our area. they never know whether they are going to have the leave to permit them to do that or they will risk losing their job by staying with the child. much like what you have described, i think, of jessica in my hometown of austin who worries about her 2-year-old daughter. that is more than just normal concern of a parent because she's been -- her daughter's been sick repeatedly. she does not have paid leave or unpaid days the next time her daughter turns up unable to stay in childcare. for many others who are unable to afford childcare, a family member usually a woman, must leave the work force all together and stay in order to protect that family. throughout the highs of new life, with new children, and the
lows of loss, caregivers are clearly being forced to put their lives on hold. they should not have to put their paycheck and their work opportunity and the economic security of their family on hold. paid leave, which is really paid stay, the opportunity for a limited stay with an aging parent, a new baby, or to deal with a specific medical problem like our witnesses have just described can help bridge the gap. for sarah, another constituent mine in austin, paid leave provided the time she needed to recover from a very difficult unplanned c-section. i agree with her when she said, it's unconscionable that so many women in this country have to go back to work so soon after going through such a physically and emotionally taxing experience as having a child. though it's not a panacea for every care giving need, comprehensive paid leave enables workers to care for themselves and their loved ones in the
short term and plan for a necessary long-term care. other supports that are so vital like greater access to childcare, expanded home and community-based services, and the child tax credit were will steps that we approved over considerable obstruction and over continued obstruction in the senate to try to help families help themselves with their economic future and their well-being. ms. pryce, let me ask you as a parent of three who described in a very strong fashion the challenges that you face with them and your elderly mother, can you describe what kind of assistance you believe would be most helpful to your family to continue your essential work as a nurse? ms. pryce: thank you, sir. what i would need is a paid leave. the problem for me is at the time when i had to take off work there was no paid leave. so i was home caring for my son, caring for my mother.
and having to make decisions to whether i was going to get her medicine, pay for groceries, take my son to therapy who had to have intense therapy at least three to four praoeupls a week. i think if i had paid leave, i would have had less pressure. i would have been able to pay a bill. not worry about whether i eat and my mom and son eat. just those two were going to eat. many nights and days i had to choose that i might eat but they had to have their needs met. so paid time off would tremendously taken a lot of pressure off me. mr. doggett: thank you very much. thanks for your testimony of each of you. it does provide some reinsight in our work. hopefully an incentive to reduce the amount of obstruction we have been facing and producing real results for working families. thank you, mr. chairman.
i yield back. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentleman from florida, mr. by mr. buchanan, to inquire. mr. buchanan: i want to thank the chairman, all of our witnesses for very powerful testimony. like the leader i grew up in a blue collar family. had to work two jobs. that was my reality. moms have always been -- i was the oldest of six. i hear a lot of that. struggle from week to week. if you look at single mothers, we are fortunate to parents, sometimes mothers, to get -- special teenage sons, to be able to deal with that. many ways take two, but the single moms are my super heroes. i don't know how they do it. whether it's you, ms. pryce, or any of the ladies. we need to find a way we can work together. this is an important issue. inflation raging, 8.6%. we should be focusing on many biden administration's failing economic policies that are
driving up prices. make staples like gas and groceries more unaffordable for everyone. i have heard numerous stories from moms and dads back home about high prices. just trying to fill up their gas tanks. some the other day got a honda, telling everybody $8 to fill it up. it's making a big difference. food prices. meat up 30%. so it's making it more difficult to feed the kids as well. they can't find formula for the babies on the bare shelves. rampant government spending is only making it worse. house republicans are working to help these same people try to make ends meet and bring some accountability back to the tax dollars we have spent. republicans introduced the protecting workers payments and family choice act, which includes my childcare fund accountability act. this bill will require h.h.s. to
conduct oversight on funds spent on childcare. grants and childcare development block grants. the american rescue plan act puts $54 billion towards childcare, which is not -- which has not been made available yet. let me ask you quickly. as a small businessperson myself, how many employees do you have? ms. huey: i have one. mr. buchanan: one employee. a lot of people don't realize that 90% -- the chamber i was in sarasota, 2600 businesses, most are 15 employees or less. i do remember when i got in business it wasn't just the inflation, it was the interest they had to raise to try to tame the inflation. so it's a double bogey that way. in florida their inflation, national rate, but our rate in florida is 12%. can you express a little bit more how inflation is impacting
your small business. miss huey: -- ms. huey: just the increases in construction supplies that we need have been unbelievable. about a 3,200 square foot house prior to the pandemic was about $35,000. our price a couple weeks ago it was $120,000. a lot of our prices have -- lumber price vs. come down now it's only $101,000. that's just for the lumber. framing lumber. that doesn't account for the cabinet increases, the concrete has gone up. just this year with those suppliers for new construction, i received three letters just in the first five months of this year for increases that they are going to pass on to us. which we have to pass on to the consumer. mr. buchanan: what do you think the inflation to build a house today compared to a year ago? ms. huey: 20%. mr. buchanon: 20% higher
inflation, the house reality, mortgages 3 1/2, 4%, clearly go to 6%, 7%, that's where it's headed. you get less than half the house. that's the reality the way i look at it in terms of interest expense. ms. huey: for every $1,000 in the increase of a house, that price is about 117,000 people out of the home buying market. mr. buchanan: again, let me also just touch in terms of interest rates, what are you sensing the impact it's having? hasn't gone up a lot but quite a bit. i think i'm looking mortgage rates at close to 6%, 6.5% that were 3 1/2 do 4%. what's the impact on that? ms. huey: i don't think it's going to be good for the industry at all or the american home buyer. it will bring housing to a halt.
mr. buchanan: thank you. mr. neal: i recognize the gentleman from california, mr. thompson, to inquire. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this important hearing. thank you to all the witnesses. i want to mention in regard to information that was shared about california versus some other state. according to n.i.h. california paid leave increased the usual weekly work hours of employed mothers by 10% to 17%. there was a wage income increase by a similar amount. it also is responsible for women being able to keep their jobs after whatever the reason was they had to leave. that's important to note. i would like to talk about childcare. i think we all agree that affordable, high quality childcare is fundamental to the success of our entire economy.
availability continues to be a bit of a problem. women are disproportionately suffering the consequences. in one of my counties, sonoma, the average cost of full-time childcare for one child is $1,106 per the average family is paying $14,000 for child care for that one child. not only is child care near impossible to afford, it's hard to find. according to community child care council of sonoma county, it has been reduced by 44% since march of 2020 and hard for a woman to be productive in the workplace if they don't have a place to keep their kids.
in a recent study, the brookings institute called the pandemic a wakeup call of women's employment and the role of child care centers in making contributions possible. how has the access to affordable high quality child care made a difference in your life and in your business? >> thank you for the question. when you do not have child care, but trying to host zoom meetings and phone calls with a 2 1/2-year-old and no matter how professional you want to be you are providing a service and being pulled in so many directions where i am wanting to do my job and providing a service, and still being a
full-time mom. once we were able to have child care. d.m. anand: with the education ability to look for in a child care program and being able to apply for it, wait for the list to be able get in and figure out how to pay for it has all been a challenge. now that my son is in a prek program having in child care 9-3. the average work day is not 9-3. so what most people have to fit in even eight-hour day, i have to fit into five-hour day. my business could maybe be stronger and maybe i have the ability to take more on and more opportunity to have one-on-one hands on and work with teachers
and the ability to play with others and being able to have that access is more for myself and my business and the clients that i serve. mr. thompson: i'm assuming with child care you can be able to afford the houses that are so expensive. >> yes, sir. i'm a renter. not anywhere close to buying a home. they didn't take clients a five-day work week is four days and to schedule and figuring out how to master the work day and get everything in, had that extra day eight to 10 hours i could build clients and promote my own business. one additional day a week could have helped me financially and also my mental health and not
wear so many hats and manage so much. mr. thompson: i yield back. mr. neal: let me recognize mr. smith from nebraska to inquire. mr.smith: thank you for sharing your real-life experiences and it is compelling to hear your perspective as a relative new parent myself, i appreciate the challenges even more. and i think that we owe the american people the diligence of getting our policies right and sometimes recognizing that the federal government solutions aren't going to solve the problems that we think they will. i'm concerned that data recently released by the bipartisan policy center found that mothers in the work force face heightened financial insecurity and groceries and transportation
because it conflicted with other care giving responsibilities. i think we heard you share that today. many of the challenges women are facing were created with the policies that have been put in place over the last year and a half or exacerbated and i am concerned that there is lacking the realization that a high gas prices could have been avoided at least to a degree, significant degree, i think inflation could have been avoided and reasonable respected economists shared their concerns before some of the legislation has passed. i think this is very important topic because we have seen proposals that i think really miss the mark. aside the question whether or not the federal government should get so involved in child
care, i think it's important to note that 70% of families currently have in-home or care provided in a center relating to a faith-based organization, even if it is a roof over a building. and i'm concerned that 9-5 care would do knowing for second and third shift workers and the federal government would be prescriptive in terms of what and where a child care would be offered, i find that problematic and it can be extremely counterproductive especially when you look at 70% of families currently have in-home or faith-based care. ms. howy, i appreciate your perspective and talk about food, gasoline, it's my sense that it
has impacted households especially those struggling and we heard earlier a mortgage payment perhaps would get pushed aside because gasoline is so expensive. what is your observation out in the work force and your interactions based reflecting on the cost of gasoline at the pump? senator inhofe: creased housing not just in delivery of products, goods and services but also in workers. i have one reliable very good carpenter that drives an hour to work and says he has to go up in his prices. and gas price increases before and this isn't going to last and i was in shock. and then the prices have gone up since then so it has had a
tremendous affect on housing based on fuel rises. mr.smith: there is so much we can do and touched on bipartisan issues here in the past in terms of work force issues and ultimately helping folks address the work force shortage because with the work force shortage and triggers for inflation, that hurts everyone and there is probably more appreciation across america now because it is painful in so many households that are struggling to get by and i hope we can see reasonable policies put forth rather than rejections of domestic exploration for petroleum, for example. there are things we can do, we must do, because i think it will help folks who are struggling each and every day. i yield back.
mr. neal: let me recognize the gentleman from connecticut to inquire. mr. larson: i thank the witnesses. it must be odd giving testimony about your personal experiences and be told essentially that the problem is biden, gasoline and inflation. apparently what you had to say didn't break through or there's a principle going on here that says government mandates are horrific, and avoid these at all costs. god forbid that government step in and try to help you. instead we get the yo-yo policy. you're on your own.
what i heard today is a number of you giving compelling, real-life situations that require action, that require government doing something to assist the people we're sworn to serve. you have heard empathy from the other side but you heard we got to get it right. they basically are saying you're on your own. we think there is a better approach. rugged individualism may be a great value and something you can attribute to something that everybody likes to share and have that participation, but through no fault of your own, you find yourself with a global pandemic and also with the concerns about inflation caused by a global war and shutting
down oil supplies. but that's not what you are here for. you are talking about what's going on in your household and how you have to deal with the very real problems. that's what you have control over. and you're asking your government for help. thank you for your testimony. and i want to ask if you could elaborate on your experience. dr. zigler out of yale used to say that child care is a cosmic crap shoot even when government is reaching out to help. all the various cares, you have a compelling story. i would love for you to expand on. can you discuss the barriers you have environs countered in terms
of finding and paying for reliable child care. >> yes. being pregnant for the first time in march of 2020, i have been squared, scared. my last few doctor appointments my husband couldn't go with me. child care isn't something i thought about. there wasn't a place safe enough to put my daughter so i would be able to focus back to work. but the cost and if the place is well suited for us is something that takes time and energy and education and not everyone has the resources. i'm lucky that i do, but doesn't
take away the problem but makes it easier for me. but it is a problem. she is almost two now for her benefit and for ours but it's not easy to do whether it was a faith-based place or not, whether the hours were 9-5. i can't find a place that is located closely, that is not expensive but is well vetted. i need help doing that. and i need the help that is not just through the web site and having someone who could be a point of contact is what would be best for my family. mr. larson: i yield back. mr. neal: let me recognize mr. kelly. mr. kelly: the subject of today's meeting is about burnout
and i looked what that is and state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excesses and prolonged stress when it fipples you are overwhelmed, emotionally draped and unable to meet constant demands which is the story our nation whether you are filling up your car with gas or groceries and propane gas is used to heat their homes. and we know what stress is and try to find a reason of why we are struggling through this stress and you say, you know what, i suggest you leave the committee room and go to wherever people fill their trucks and cars and said is this having any cost on your living? we don't talk about that anymore because it is so out of control. i wanted to ask each of you and
ms. howy, you said you don't have children. go steelers, had to get that in and if you aren't wearing plaque and yellow. >> my shoes are yellow. mr. kelly: all of you ladies have a child in a child care facility. do any of you have a child in a faith-based child care facility? not all child care is the same, so your choice is to look what is available. >> yes, sir. faith-based organizations are three days a week and four hours a day. in order to take them to a
faith-based child care, i wouldn't be able to work at all and no one would be able to pick him up. they don't fit the average working mother's schedule. so that is not readily available. there are programs that are faith based that fill up quickly and very small capacity for children. mr. kelly: you are in connecticut, your children -- have you considered a faith-based facility for child. ms. fell presidents is that something you would consider? >> yes. mr. kelly: ms. price? >> my son who is 18. mr. kelly: you don't have a child care problem?
>> not at this moment. mr. kelly: early on when your son was real young, did you consider faith-based. >> my son has autism. mr. kelly: when you were looking for child care, did you consider a faith-based facility -- or within a faith-based building. did you look at that option? >> i'm not a mother. mr. kelly: reason i bring this up, we always go away from policy and go to politics. when i hear people say these republicans just don't want to help you. and build back better act, we noticed that you could be in the child care business but you
couldn't be faith-based because it was a violation of what the federal government does. when we talk about how willing we are to help, remember there is inserted in there the word but. but we won't do it for this, this or that. i love the fact that we have these meetings and talk about burnout and talk about cost of living and everything that is driving people up a wall and all policy that has come out of this administration in almost two years and as much as i want to be nice, i want to be honest. if you ask you to work together but my wife asked me every week, why don't you work. if you are not allowed in the room, building or the town, tell me how in the world you would work together. we are totally ignored as the republican party because we are
in their way. whatever their way is. i thank you for being here today. the answer to everything we are talking about is a dynamic economy one that you can go up and take care of all those whom you are responsible to and not turn to a government for a program that runs out in 12 months, 24 months, 36 months. let's get america back to work and afford and go to work and not be sitting at home that i can't possibly make it. that is true burnout and we don't see what's going on in the ground and only in the theory that we like to thank you. i thank you for having this meeting. sometimes we are too separated.
mr. neal: let me ask mr. plawr to inquire -- blumenauer to inquire. mr. blumenauer: i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record two letters from my constituents that talk about the challengees that they face. mr. neal: so ordered. mr. blumenauer: they have struggled to be able to navigate and i thought as you are testifying, i'm reflecting on my own family. i have a son and a daughter, four grandchildren. and two above average income in those families and they are struggling to get access to
child care let alone that it is the function equivalent of college tuition. and particularly of the young women in my family and they were dealing with that every day and high pressure engagement and so looking at the context here, i am concerned that we are having an alternative that has been advanced by my friends that talks about something that is decentralized. you are on your own and relying on a patch work of systems with companies that may or may not participate, the notion all the government programs that we see in other parts of the world that
are inadequate and dysfunctional and people we know in canada, denmark or california take serious exception. voters in my community raised local taxes to establish universal child care that we are going to start this fall because the need was so critical. and frankly, the outcomes that we faced in terms and i think some of these things are tied together. i appreciate you talking about the housing challenge we face. i agree and there needs to be done with people across the political spectrum to look at the interests that need to be addressed including neighbors and environmental challenges and
supply chain and need to zero in on the housing but i would argue to supply the workers that are necessary, having and will improve productive. it will make it easier for people to get in the work force and participate. i am pleased to see it is increasing for women and nowhere it needs to be and providing the support here would make a huge difference. mr. chairman, i hope that we can sort of move past some of the slogans and actually look at performance and what the challenges would be in terms of having a patch work that relies a variety of different companies, a variety of different subjects.
i'll turn back to you, you want to talk about the benefits of having something that is uniform, consistent and not forcing you to be an independent contractor to manage all the child care challenges. >> i would love to have 9-5. i deeply love working in small businesses and owning my own. i have to make sure that i secure contract after contract and often taking more on than necessary and what if we hit a recession, what happens to me. all of that stress is on me every single day. i would love to have a job that offers me flexibility and i would love a job that offers me
flexibility that when schools are closed. some companies are doing this but there is the expectation you have to be there. when i need you, i need to have you. i understand that. as someone who has dedicated 15 years to corporate america i am more than happy but my son, it is my priority to take care of him. if i had to choose between working 40 hours to have health benefits or having to work 90 hours in my small business around my son's schedule in order to be there for him and access to services that he needs, i'll deal with the stress every day. and if i have to make the decisions that i need to take the time to care for him, i know
we aren't going to suffer and not worried about food, clothing or housing or pull him out of the school program. he deserves to have a high quality preschool program. mr. neal: one of the recognizable moments so far in the testimony from the witnesses, everybody in this room agrees there is a problem you have to figure out how to proceed. let me recognize smasm missouri, mr. smith to inquire. mr.smith: i thank the witnesses to be here. i know how hard these last few years must have been for you. as a woman who owns and operates a small business, do child care
policies from federal make it harder to deliver benefits to employees? >> thank you for the question. it absolutely does and i think i can also speak to my husband's small business. he has 20 employees, maybe 18 employees. he offers leave and pays his employees. there are small businesses that offer benefits to working women and pen that government mandates would stop all that and would make the cost of goods and services higher. if i might divert and address something else, the price of inflation is going to drive up health care costs. workers coming to work together where the gas of gas prices are.
most daycare provide breakfast and lunch for children and there was a grocery store clerk when i commented how expensive ground beef had got onen. mr.smith: i was about to ask you how has our higher inflation caused by the increased federal spending benefited your business. and you clearly shown it has not. i'm glad to hear you say that. frequently, the folks i represent in southeast missouri criticize washington tore being all talk and no action. you hear people all over america say that. unform washington democrats have done that. you see at this hearing, i'm
getting deja vu because we have the exact same hearing three months ago in the budget committee. i'm the ranking member of the house budget committee and that hearing was called ensuring women can thrive in a post-pandemic economy. at that hearing, i pointed out how washington democrats, their policies left women worst off. 27% of the americans who left the work force during the pandemic consisted of mothers forced out by school closures. out of control spending drove inflation by 7.9% after february of 2022. the highest spike which was in 40 years at that time, while earning for women grew by 9.6% under president trump's leadership, women's earnings has
fallen 2.6% since president biden has taken the oath of office. what has the majority done to address these problems? nothing. talk with no action is the norm with democrats in charge. the national average for gas prices is now above $5 for the first time. inflation continues to rise at historic levels and now 8.6%. 12.2% since joe biden took office. and women's wages continues to fall as costs for apparel and footwear increased by 5%. for women, these problems are devastated. president's chief of staff said these are high-class problems.
target paid family leave policies and harness 50 billion of existing funds and targeting funds for child care. instead of working with republicans, they want to steam roll women trying to timized paid leave solutions and handouts. worst of all, washington democrats want to raise costs by $13,000 at a time of rampant inflation and costs. i yield back. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, to inquire. mr. pascrell: let me digest what
i just heard. the covid-19 pandemic specifically women that are burnt, that is in theory, that's reality. access to child care and paid leave have been exacerbated these past two years, every year working families in the u.s. lose $22 # .5 billion because of lack of access to paid family and medical leave. the economy also loses and decreased consumer spending.
and the american rescue plan act, we permanently increased mandatory child care by $600 million per year for the first time since 2006, which republicans refused to do when they had the majority. and your needle in the haystack all of you, it didn't happen, you are just exceptions to the rule. you are an anomaly. you're waiting for the next handout. you can have all the facts that
you want and study after study it has been proven, last 100 years you have blown the economy and you keep pointing fingers at us that we are the reason for the government spending too much. it skipped the last administration because it was a total disaster. and i want to share a story from beth. this is happening. so beth is a jersey resident she works in pennsylvania and some people do that to get a job. nothing wrong with it. she gave birth to her first child in 2016. beth suffered from severe
post-partum anxiety. pretty common. had to return to work with a three-month-old child. i want to read beth's own words here, mr. chairman. quote, upon my return to work, i was getting less than two hours of consecutive sleep. and maximum of four hours of sleep a night. i then had to commute an hour each way to work feeling exhausted to my core. this isn't theory, this is actually happening in peoples' lives. this isn't a needle in a haystack that you have to find with a magnifying glass and you can deny it all you want.
have all the solutions been perfect? absolutely not. at least we put the solutions out and we tried to help people. that's what we are here for. by the way, that's what we are here for. because beth worked in pennsylvania, she was only able to access 12 weeks of unpaid leave. and we're talking about lumber prices, you got to be kidding me. she was forced back into the work force at the expense of her family, not lumber prices. beth's experience is painfully common and you all know it better than i do, you who told the stories today. i was not able to mention fully,
she said to my employer, nor was i able to be the mother i wanted to be tore my child. i will cry when i picked her up from daycare because i missed her so much. that's not theory. it's a national disgrace, she said, how poorly mothers are treated and how little support there is. a national disgrace, i call all of you courageous. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentleman from arizona shes mr. schweikert to inquire. mr. schweikert: to all of our witnesses, we should have a moment of self-reflection here and extend an apology to you partially for exploiting you.
we have turned your story into proposes and there is intellectual cruelty in doing that. as you often hear instead of building policy sets that are hopeful that grow the economy and grow and we bring people in and propose them up and tell stories that often have no math behind them and then we wonder why right now the last 15 months americans have become poorer. more poor today than they were 15 months ago. working moms are poorer today than they were 15 months ago. and at some point we keep telling each other we care and
we have different policy, the mathis the math and the math wins. i didn't bring my boards here because i'm tired of being teased about them. but this is a couple of months out of date and you hate to segment society in these ways, but if you are a working hispanic mom, as of two months ago, you are 5% poorer because of what has been done -- last 12 months because the numbers are substantially more brutal today. something we did here and you will notice aggressive attempt to avoid our policy sets because
we work in an environment in washington where we work on our virtue signaling and not our accomplishments the fact of the matter is, trying to survive and trying to find opportunity and prosper with the difficulties, 2018, 2019, ok, fine, you didn't like the president but more working moms were moved out of poverty than any time in modern economics. african-american wages of females, the data is the data. but we don't make policy by individual stories but look at where was the good in society. and mr. chairman, you and i have touched on this multiple times. i understand a lot of this is directed to you by the powers that be, but if we really gave a
damn about the american people, we would be sitting around the table with left economists and right economists saying this policy set or maybe family care would create, this tax policy would create prosperity. instead we have become nothing but and we are better than that. i yield back. mr. neal: this conversation has been from our witnesses and we tried to encourage and open up dialogue. and be assured there is no effort by myself or any other member of this committee to coach the witnesses. they are independent mind and courage in coming here to tell their stories is more than here
than worth while. let me recognize mr. davis and go to a 2-1 ratio in asking questions. mr. davis. mr. davis: i thank you'll of our witnesses. early childhood education and next door is a small -- [indiscernible] when i come in early and taking children in, i smile to myself because it's a great experience to have. last week, i visited five of those type centers in my district. and i saw the children
interacting and learning i thought to myself how great it would be if every child in america had what we know that they don't. therefore, it is very important that we ultimately pass build back better, because it proper provide access to every three and four-year-olds in our country. but yesterday, i met with a group of business people, men and women, and one of them had a four-year-old daughter with him. naturally everybody talked about sweet she was and how cute and how great it was to see her and he kind of smiled and said, it's wonderful that i can keep her
and have -- not have to and with which i have had access. based upon the experiences. [indiscernible] >> i don't know other way what the people need and what the people want and what government to provide. therefore as you have already indicated some of the experiences that you have had trying to make -- and i really commend you and ms. phelps both for the compassion that your
families have shown to family members. ms. price, would you tell us, have you known, met or success in those experiences of other people who have had these same problems? >> i did not hear the question. mr. davis: people who have expressed the same problems that you have had. >> as a nurse, i meet a lot of patient and family members that experienced the exact problem i have and have had. happen to have an unpaid leave but have to take care of their family members. and i'm sorry, i'm not build a
house but i'm trying to keep the house i have already. i'm not trying to pick out if i can afford a house. i just want the house that i have and that is important when people are faced with taking care of a loved one who is sick or mental challenges that they have paid time off to do that and take care of their family and now worry how they are going to pay a bill. having paid time off is not going to make anyone rich but just going to take the pressure of being at home having to care for a loved one, going to reduce the stress level. no one wants a handout or the government to take care of them.
we just need help when we need the help. mr. davis: you said it all. mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentlelady from california, ms. sanchez to inquire. thank you for sharing with us your real-world challenges and experiences. if anything, your very compelling testimony that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are not listening. they are insulting and arrogant in wanting to talk about the price of lumber and small businesses and affordable
housing. toes are worth while topics, but this hearing is about the burnout epidemic and how dare my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about how government should not be investing in child care when most of the witnesses on our panel are struggling to find affordable and quality child care and they are telling us there is a need. and their stories are important because as policy makers we must listen to what the needs of our constituents are and we must act. as a working mother myself who also cares for a mother with alzheimer's, i understand where you all are coming from. it is hard. and during the pandemic, i'm sure it wasn't gas prices or inflation that were causing the stressors and causing the
burnout? am i correct? if i'm inreact, please raise your hand. during the pandemic, it was not the price of gas or inflation that was causing you to burn out, it was scrambling to find child care and care for elderly and work and balance of work and putting food on the table and being able to raise your children or look after your parents who are in ill health. that's what is the focus of what today's hearing should be. and if am i hearing you all correctly, you are begging us for help with child care for paid family medical leave, for elder care assistance. if i have gotten that wrong, please raise your hand.
you know, in this country, which we call ourselves development country, 19% of workers have asked us for paid family and medical leave. and it's our responsibility as policy makers to try to help with that so that the witnesses that we heard from today don't have to live with the uncertainty of what they will do if a child or a parent gets sick. you have all been so brave in sharing your stories. ms. price, i thank your service as a health care provider. your testimony really struck home with me. and i want to ask you, if you had received paid leave from the hospital, child care for your son or supplemental income to provide elderly care for your mother, how much of a difference would it have made for your
well-being? >> a tremendous difference for my well-being. i would have been able to focus more and give 100% to my son who was having mental challenges because of the pandemic. i would have been able to take my mother to her appointments and not choose who was going this week and who was going next week. it would have been a tremendous difference. ms. sanchez: how hard it is to find affordable child care in a facility they can get to and trust with their children. can you share with this committee the thoughts and choices you have to go through just to find child care slot that fits your budget and your needs. >> child care is being to
understand it has its certification, one stars, two stars, three stars, four stars. in my area there are not two or three stars. you want good care, safe place, one that has trained professionals. it's difficult. there's not many. my family is part of your constituency and many of them, just like me had the decision to quick their job because there is no child care. my sister works and so does her husband and have the help of my dad and stepmother. summer care there are no child care programs. if she could have one through the head start program it is $1,000 a month for one child. what does she do with the other child and even trying to find programs available, her question is, do i give up my job for the
summer because there is no place for my kids to go or find anyone to watch my child and that's what happens in these communities and so many communities and so many people are in a race to find someone to watch our children. there is nothing wrong with at-home care or faith-based organizations, there is nothing wrong with that. but we need standards that every child when they go to on daycare, preschool, kindergartet kindergarten, that they have a program that is equal tied and access and scrags and steps. i have to decide every time i go to a school what we won't have. $800 a month was saved at the beginning of the pandemic because we didn't have child care. women didn't have to pay for
child care or vacations and activities because we were home. so raising that after the few months hit us again with that cost increasing. many daycares closing, makes it hard. it's a rat race in order to find the right place and right care. ms. sanchez: i hope my colleagues are listening to these witnesses today. mr. neal: let me recognize the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. walorski. mrs.walorski: republicans have been long willing to work with democrats to find common ground on this issue. everything we can agree to improve the lives. we have been willing partners. i have been here and part of those discussions for quite a
while. paid leave and child care are not republican or democratic issues. these are family issues. so we've got to be able to solve the problems together. one primary goal today should be focus on conversations happening at your kitchen tables, around the rest of the country as americans can afford skyrocketing costs at the pump, grocery stores because here is the truth, they are telling me that inflation is crushing them. it is very valid to ask questions today about what the cost of this, that and everything else from women that even own businesses to be able to employ anybody else including women. it does matter. at home in indiana, there is a 4800 acre farm and owns a.
jill is a creative hoosier who is a leading example of what is happening at dairy farms. the biggest challenge for her family farm and restaurant are the out of control inflation costs. i'm not making these up. out of control inflation, labor shortage, climbing energy costs, supply-chain disruptions impacting her business. i talked to another strong hoosier woman who has a business in elm beinghart and delivery costs have soared to 300%. this c.e.o. went on to tell me that regulations have made it more difficult to deal with skyrocketing inflation. she said that they make products
the cleanest possible way and all the while the u.s. is crippling itself by overly burdensome regulations. like so many americans, these women will be tasted to make more difficult choices unless we're able to stabilize this economy. women and families in my district need gas prices to come under control and need gas prices. and inflation is 40-year high and recession on the horizon, democrats are choosing republicans to help working women. republicans offered to work with democrats and provided a commonsense alternative with flexible options in working and instead of working with republic caps democrats chose a partisan go it alone my hey or the
highway making life harder for women. so i'm having a hard time listening to the other side talk about the fact that we have not been willing to work. we have not only been willing to work with you but brought alternatives, suggestions and all kinds of options. i'll tell you this, back in covid, a lot of problems did not exist that you try to make it exist. it was january 20 of last year when gas prices started rising and inflation it wasn't during covid but the biden administration with his war on energy and war on the american people. i urge my colleagues to consider the my way or the highway approach. we are open for business. you previously ran a child care center and under the democrats' proposed policies that would increase the cost of child care.
the legislation not only would prohibit parents in choosing faith-based providers but increase regulations driving up the cost of federal care federal mandates without capping without they could charge. driving up costs for middle class families by a whopping $13,000. your prior experience in running a daycare facility how would you discuss these mandates having your ability to provide affordable child care. >> we will leave this to cover congress. continue watching us online at c-span. org. u.s. house about to gavel in. members are expected to 13 bills and diversity and inclusion in