Biden Requests $16 Billion for Child Care, $23 Billion for Disaster Relief

Biden Requests $16 Billion for Child Care, $23 Billion for Disaster Relief


The White House is asking Congress for $16 billion to fund child-care programs in the current fiscal year, along with $23 billion for natural disaster relief. The request is part of a roughly $50 billion supplemental package the Biden administration is sending to lawmakers to address a variety of domestic needs.

The $16 billion request is intended to stabilize funding for more than 225,000 child-care providers across the country, with state-level grants ranging from $15 million in Wyoming to $1.8 billion in Texas, The Washington Post’s Abha Bhattarai reported Wednesday. Many of those providers received a boost from the record $24 billion provided by Congress for child care during the pandemic, but that funding expired at the end of the 2023 fiscal year in September, leading to concerns about the ability of child-care centers to remain open.

The larger $50 billion request for domestic purposes comes in the wake of the $106 billion request made by the White House last week for foreign aid, including assistance for Israel and Ukraine. However, the domestic funding package faces an even more difficult path politically than the foreign aid one, and it may serve a political purpose more than a practical one.

“They can put something out there to say, ‘We want child care or maybe something on health care and homelessness,’ but they know they’re not going to get anything through this Congress beyond maybe something small,” Dean Baker, an economist at the liberal-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, told the Post. “But I think it makes sense for Biden to throw something out there when Republicans are saying that Democrats care more about people in Ukraine and Israel than they do about the people here.”