Buttigieg: Lack of Child Care to Blame for Labor Shortage

On Wednesday, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg claimed the child care plan included in President Joe Biden’s so-called “Build Back Better Act” would help solve the ongoing labor crisis.

Buttigieg told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “a lot of very respected economists” have predicted solving the child care issue would “ease these labor market pressures” and also inflation.

“Look, this issue is real,” Buttigieg emphasized. “Talk to, you know, certainly any small business owner, and we’re seeing it a lot in the transportation sector. For example, when you see those ships that are at anchor in the port, some of those issues actually might have to do with the availability of truckers a thousand miles inland. Now, there are a lot of things contributing to this. One of them is child care, of course, which is why the president’s Build Back Better vision is going to be good for the labor market.”

He added, “Yes, the child care issue is not new, but it is a greater crunch than ever, even compared to a year or two ago, which is why it is so important for us to support child care. I mean, again, I think the underappreciated dimension of the Build Back Better agenda, what I call part two of the big deal, part one being the transportation and infrastructure bill we just passed, part of that is it that that’s actually going to ease these labor market pressures. And that’s not just us in the administration saying it. A lot of very respected economists have pointed to that same effect and how it could also help with inflation.”

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski replied, “I still don’t understand. I mean, if you’re telling me that Build Back Better will bring people back to work because of much-needed and long-needed issues like child care and pre-K, that still doesn’t explain why people aren’t coming to work today.”

“I would not ignore the issue of child care,” Buttigieg maintained. “I would not ignore the issue of safety. Some people are still concerned about returning during the course of the pandemic.”

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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