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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Joe Cunningham (SC-1)

December 5, 2019

Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of original cosponsors to introduce legislation that provides resources to help new parents pay for leave and cover the cost of day care, baby supplies and other expenses associated with a new child. The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would allow families the option to advance up to $5,000 of their recently-doubled child tax credit in the first year of a child’s life or the first year a family adopts a child. Families can also choose to advance their child credit without having to miss work or sacrifice a state or employer’s family/medical leave policy to pay for other expenses.

“The birth or adoption of a child should be one of the most joyous times in a parent’s life. Instead, millions of Americans are forced to worry about how they’ll afford to take time off or pay for child care when they go back to work,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “That’s why I’m proud to support this important legislation that provides hardworking Lowcountry families with the flexibility and support they need during the critical first year of their child’s birth or adoption.”

Most other paid leave proposals require parents to take off work to receive benefits, this bill allows teleworkers the option to access child care benefits and to continue working from home while they take care of their new child. Additionally, the bill does not raise taxes or take away from Social Security. Low income earners who do not qualify for the full refundable portion of the child tax credit can elect to receive a benefit adjusted to 100 percent wage replacement over 12 weeks of work.

In the House, the original cosponsors of this bipartisan bill include Reps. Colin Allred (TX-32), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), and Bryan Steil (WI-01).  In the Senate, the bipartisan bill is being introduced by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Steve Daines (MT), Shelley Capito (WV), and Joe Manchin (WV).

“We applaud the bipartisan focus to help working families,” the Bipartisan Policy Center said today in a supportive statement of the bill. “A huge body of research tells us how critical the first year of life is to a child’s development. Unfortunately, that first year of life can also be very expensive for the family.”