Thank you for reading another edition of my e-newsletter, the Carson Courier. For additional information on these and other topics, please visit my website at http://www.carson.house.gov.
In this week’s
Promoting Fiscal Responsibility
Improving Childcare Safety
Federal Minimum Wage Increase
PROMOTING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Reducing our national debt and achieving long-term economic stability has been among my top priorities since being elected to Congress. That’s why I was proud to offer my support this week for the Pay-As-You-Go Act, which will reduce our national debt and increase fiscal discipline by codifying “pay-as-you-go” spending rules into law.
This bill returns us to the fiscally prudent ways of the 1990s, when PAYGO helped turn massive deficits into record surpluses. Unfortunately, the previous PAYGO law was allowed to expire under the Republican-controlled Congress in 2002, which contributed to the dramatic turnaround from a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to projected deficits of $4.5 trillion.
By legally requiring Congress to follow pay-as-you-go budget guidelines, we are finally returning to the basic rule of every family budget—you don't spend money you don't have. Statutory PAYGO is a crucial step to restore fiscal discipline, force the tough choices on taxes and spending, and begin cutting the deep deficits that face our nation. Without reducing the deficit, we won’t be able to invest in vital priorities, including health care, education, and clean energy—all critical to our economic future.
IMPROVING CHILDCARE SAFETY
Across our nation, there are approximately 22 million children who spend an average of 36 hours a week in some form of childcare arrangement. Much of this care is made possible by subsidies given through the federal Childcare Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program, which provides childcare fee assistance to the families of over 1.7 million low-income children.
In sending young children to childcare, I believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that they in a safe and protective environment. Disturbingly, a recent study conducted under the Federal Child Safety Pilot Program found that of the more than 30,000 background checks that were conducted, 6.4 percent of individuals seeking to work with children had a criminal record. Over 25 percent of those with a criminal had committed a violent offense in the past while living in a different state. In addition, over half of the individuals found to have committed a crime made false claims that they had a clean criminal background.
One of the easiest ways to promote safety in a childcare setting is for states to conduct comprehensive background checks on the childcare providers. That is why I introduced a bill this week that will assist states in improving the overall safety of childcare services and programs by mandating childcare providers undergo national background checks to determine eligibility for CCDBG funds. I believe that this common sense legislation will better inform parents and help to ensure that they do not unwittingly leave their children with potentially dangerous childcare professionals.
FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
Today, as housing, food and transportation costs remain high, average Americans everywhere are struggling to make ends meet. This difficulty is especially pronounced among the millions working for minimum wage—many of whom cannot even afford the most basic essentials because of this economic recession. Accordingly, I am pleased to see this week’s timely increase in the federal minimum wage—rising from $6.55 to $7.25.
This increase will allow minimum wage workers to better provide for their families and begin making the investments in their future. In turn, this bump in pay will translate into an increase in consumer spending that will benefit our efforts to grow the economy.
Thank you for reading the Carson Courier. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. I value your views and your input which help me to better represent the people of
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