Press Release on the U.S. Senate’s Social Services Expansion

PEACHTREE CORNERS—The U.S. Senate approved an entirely partisan reconciliation bill of at least $3.5 trillion that irresponsibly includes the biggest expansion of social services. In his own words, Senate Budget Commit- tee Chairman Bernie Sanders said the budget reconciliation bill “will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s.”

The Alliance for Opportunity, a three-state coalition to move people from dependence to the dignity of work and a flourishing life, believes we should learn from our history and expand pathways to success and opportunity with– out dictating a burdensome cradle-to-college path that will cost the American people trillions of dollars.

“When many are struggling from the consequences of the pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns, families want a return to normal with job opportunities so they can achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Kevin Roberts, Texas Public Policy Foundation Chief Executive Officer

We know that the governments’ closure of schools and the lack of affordable childcare has placed a huge burden on caretakers–who are largely women–over the last year. However, we should carefully consider options that pro- vide the freedom of sustainable, affordable options for caretakers rather than a costly system that removes choices for their families. Make no mistake, if the federal government funds one form of childcare, then other options are crowded out. Instead, there should be affordable solutions for parental freedom and a better utilization of existing funds for childcare under TANF and other state workforce programs.

“Despite spending trillions on social service programs, generations of Americans have become trapped in a cycle of government dependency leaving them unable to realize the full extent of the American dream. This expansion of social service programs will be no different. Instead of bankrupting future generations, it’s time to give Americans the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Daniel Erspamer, Chief Executive Officer at Pelican Institute for Public Policy.

“When writing public policy, we must carefully weigh the long term effects those policies might have on the very people we are attempting to help. What works in the short term may not help over the long haul,” said Randy Hicks, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Center for Opportunity

Americans can’t afford Sen. Bernie Sanders’ unprecedented spending and taxing along with continual borrowing against our future, especially at this critical time in the pandemic recovery. The Alliance for Opportunity urges an approach that puts families and local communities at the center of solutions for childcare, education, and middle class job opportunities, not politicians in D.C. or elsewhere.

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