Some follow-up on the previous post: Understanding Senator Manchin's and Capito’s opposition to extending child care subsidies
If you are wondering why both Manchin and Capito are opposed to extending the child care subsidies, the stumbling block for both appears to be whether religious organizations should be allowed to discriminate. While both Manchin and Capito are in favor of continuing the subsidy for child care, both also want the rules on who runs child care facilities to be less restrictive.
Joe Manchin’s opposition (see last post) to the child care provision is apparently not new and it deals with a provision which determines whether certain religious programs will be allowed to participate. The New York Times explained last month:
The provision at issue is a standard one in many federal laws, which would mandate that all providers comply with federal nondiscrimination statutes. Religious organizations, whose child care programs are currently exempt from some such laws, argue that it would effectively block many of their providers from participating, while civil rights advocates contend it is long past time for such institutions to comply. . . .
For instance, it could bar federal funds from going to programs that refused to hire a gay employee, gave preference to applicants of their faith or failed to renovate their facilities to accommodate disabled students.
Regardless, Manchin apparently wants such programs to be able to participate:
Their efforts appear to have gained some traction in the Senate, where Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key Democratic swing vote on the social policy bill, has privately told Democrats he wants to ensure that religious programs can fully participate in the child care initiative.
Senator Capito has also shown support for the participation of the faith-based organizations. She wants them to be “reputable” and “reliable” but apparently does not care if they discriminate:
Faith-based child care providers would take a major hit under Biden’s reckless tax-and-spend bill.— Shelley Moore Capito (@SenCapito) December 15, 2021
These are reputable, reliable parts of our child care network that work in conjunction with both public and private partners in West Virginia pic.twitter.com/Xi9vv063vn
The child care provision is currently part of the Build Back Better bill. Senator Capito’s statements strikes me as posturing on her part since she has shown no willingness to support the larger bill (and I doubt that she would support BBB even if these providers were allowed to discriminate). Senator Manchin’s vote, on the other hand, is critical to the larger bill and the senator knows that.
Coming soon to an Ogden paper near you: WV media toss Senator Capito more softballs
Yes, Senator Capito will soon be in the local papers; today, she held another virtual conference with WV media and Ogden political reporter, Steven Allen Adams, documented the affair. I'll see what other reporters are saying but the conference appears to be yet another online encounter where no one asked the senator anything resembling a tough question and there was little follow-up.
Here's Adams' Twitter post in case you want an early read:
The lack of progress on high profile bills, such as Build Back Better and the Freedom to Vote Act, might be getting all the headlines, but U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito sees a number of successes as 2021 begins to fade into the rear-view mirror. https://t.co/64cAfULqsP pic.twitter.com/4n6PcC7s3x— Steven Allen Adams (@stevenadamswv) December 17, 2021