Sinema Introduces Bipartisan Bill Supporting Parents in Critical First Year Following Births, Adoptions

Dec 4, 2019

First-of-its-kind bipartisan bicameral plan allows families to receive advance Child Tax Credits to offset leave, childcare, other expenses

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, along with Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (LA), Democratic Congressman Colin Allred (TX), and Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY), today introduced bipartisan legislation to provide working families with resources to pay for parental leave and cover the cost of childcare or other expenses.
The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would allow families the option to advance up to $5,000 of their child tax credit in the first year of a child’s life or the first year a family adopts a child. The bill is bipartisan, does not increase taxes, creates no new entitlements, includes no new mandates on employers, and does not impact Social Security. The plan also provides families with the flexibility to decide how to use the benefit, including helping offset the cost of quality infant care—which in Arizona can total nearly as much as the cost of one year at a public state university.
“Too often, Arizonans who start families are forced to decide between going back to work right away, or losing wages by taking time off to spend with their growing families,” said Sinema. “Arizona families deserve better. Our bipartisan bill represents an important first step that can pass Congress now, offering parents a new option to finance time off of work or help pay for childcare.”
62 percent of working families in Arizona don’t have access to unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act leave – either because they don’t qualify or can’t afford it. Sinema’s Advancing Support for Working Families Act is bipartisan solution that can pass Congress and puts money in Arizona families’ pockets now to offset the costs of taking time off of work, for child care, and other expenses.
The Advancing Support for Working Families Act is optional, with decisions made entirely by new parents. For instance, parents who already receive paid leave through their employer or state could continue to do so, forgoing the new benefit and continuing to receive their full yearly Child Tax Credit.
“Starting  a family is often a happy and stressful time for families. I believe  all parents want the best for their children, but sometimes they are torn between wanting to spend time with them and having to financially provide for them. We need to do more in this country to support young families as we know the importance of the first few years of life are in laying a strong foundation for the child’s future. This bill would be a good first step forward,” said Susie Huhn, CEO Casa de los Niños.
“BPC Action encourages support for the Advancing Support for Working Families Act and applauds Sens. Cassidy (R-LA) and Sinema (D-AZ) and Reps. Allred (D-TX) and Stefanik (R-NY) for their leadership on this bill, which is an important step in supporting American families. The Advancing Support for Working Families Act, combined with other measures to expand the Child Tax Credit, has the potential to make a real impact on the lives of American families. BPC Action encourages members to support this bipartisan, bicameral legislation and take action now,” said the Bipartisan Policy Center.