Patty in the News

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is pushing a plan to give parents a bigger tax credit for child care expenses. The high-ranking Democrat and former preschool teacher dropped in at a downtown Seattle daycare center Thursday to publicize the legislation, called the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act.

Several moms spoke out about just how tough it is to afford a quality daycare. Erin Welch, a mother of three, described how hard it was when she no longer qualified for a state child care subsidy because she got a raise that bumped her just over the threshold. 

"What that meant was skipping bills, falling behind on utility bills, making decisions about what type of things we’d go without each month and every month,” Welch said.

Murray's plan would bump up the child care tax credit to about $1,600 from the current $600 for one child. It would also make it possible for low-income parents who don’t owe any taxes to get a refund for some of their child care costs.

“Everybody’s talking about how we need to reform our tax code to help corporate America. We also need to reform our tax code to help our working families and help grow our economy,” Murray said.

Murray was flanked by Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene. They say they’re trying to get the word out about the bill to gain momentum for it in Washington. But Murray says it’s been hard to win Republican support for her other initiatives, such as a higher minimum wage.