Recently, the Biden administration rolled out what it’s calling the American Families Plan, which would — if enacted — establish a universal preschool program for three- and four-year-olds, provide two free years of community college to all Americans, create a nationally backed paid family/ medical leave program, and more. Bizarrely, Republicans have begun pushing the claim that the plan amounts to — as the unbearable Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) put it — “lefty social engineering.”
The idea is that providing services like universal preschool would pressure parents out of the home while other services would pressure Americans into similar supposed changes. The basic reality that Republicans fail to grasp is that many parents are already out of the home, because — unlike the lifestyles of the GOP’s mega-donors — most American families have to work to make financial ends meet. Full-time work at a minimum wage job under the federally set standard (some states have their own higher standards) would leave someone with $15,080 per year. That’s it.
Responding to the “social engineering” claims from Republicans, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) commented as follows during a Sunday appearance on MSNBC:
‘I think that’s nonsense. He’s dictating what kind of families people should have because he wants there to be affordable childcare? He’s not saying that people need to leave the home to go to work, but he is saying that people should have the freedom to do that. And it’s also good for the economy if people have the opportunity to join the workforce and don’t feel they can’t because there’s no affordable childcare.’
Schiff went on to discuss the implications of Republican opposition to other Biden policy plans like the American Jobs Plan, which is the name for the proposed infrastructure spending package that would — among other things — provide for the complete removal of lead water pipes from the United States. As Schiff pointedly put it, are Republicans really going to stick to a position that amounts to defending lead water pipes?
‘So, I think that’s ridiculous, but I have to say, they’re grasping at straws, because what the president is proposing is so popular. Do Republicans want to say they’re for lead in our pipes? They’re against early childhood education? They don’t want to make college affordable? They don’t think people should be able to take care of a loved one when they get sick? And so they come up with these phony straw man arguments.’
Check out his comments below:
— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) May 2, 2021