Biden touts support for care workers at DC event

April 9, 2024

President Biden on Tuesday held a rally with care workers, where he highlighted his administration’s efforts to expand access to child care and teased an upcoming effort to increase staffing standards in nursing homes.

“You’re the heroes to so many individuals. You really are. And you represent so many people who do it and do it out of love and concern, not because of the pay, because they’re not getting the pay they need,” Biden said at the event at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

“As your president I’m here with a simple message. I give you my word, I have your back,” he added.

The president spoke at an event hosted by Care Can’t Wait Action, a coalition of groups focused on expanding access to child care, paid family and medical leave and home-based services. Representatives from the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, AARP and National Domestic Workers Alliance attended, as did Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

Biden spoke about the American Rescue Plan, which passed with only Democratic votes in 2021 and which he said helped keep 225,000 child care centers open as the country grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation also expanded the child care tax credit and helped drastically reduce child poverty, Biden said.

Biden last year signed an executive order to boost compensation for care workers, support family caregivers and expand affordable care options through 50 directives to federal agencies. 

The president noted care workers are predominantly women, women of color and immigrants “who are overworked, overlooked and underpaid. It’s not enough just to praise them for all they’re doing, we have to pay them.”

Biden on Tuesday also said his administration plans to release a new rule in the coming weeks to increase staffing standards in nursing homes and get home care workers a bigger share of Medicaid payments.

He sought to contrast his efforts with a budget proposal from House Republicans that would cut caregiving programs, leaving more than 200,000 children without access to child care, according to the White House.

Tuesday’s rally coincided with April being Care Workers Recognition Month. Biden issued a proclamation in late March denoting the month and calling care workers “our nation’s hidden heroes.”

In a responding statement, Republican National Committee co-Chair Lara Trump accused Biden of waging “a war on women and families,” pointing to supply chain issues with baby formula and rising costs.

“Republican economic policies will once again support women, parents, and opportunity for all — which is why families across the country are rooting for a President Trump landslide victory on November 5,” Trump said.