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Photo: Axios

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, figuring out and affording child care was a "silent epidemic" for working parents, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said at an Axios event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The pandemic has pushed the child care conversation into the forefront. In April, the White House announced that it would release $39 billion from the American Rescue Plan to address the child care crisis stemming from COVID-19.

  • Many daycares and other providers were forced to close due to low enrollment and the high costs to keep facilities safe and clean throughout the pandemic.

What she's saying: "It has changed night and day," Murray said. "Before the pandemic, child care was a stressful conversation for every family inside their home, but they rarely talked about it, especially to their employer, because they were worried that they wouldn't be given a promotion or wouldn't keep their job if they said 'child care is a huge issue for me.'"

What to watch: In April, Murray and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) re-introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act that would ensure that no low- or middle-income family spends more than 7% of their income on child care.

  • "I can't tell you how many people have said to me in the last year-plus that child care is the one issue that is keeping their family from being stable," Murray said."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Sep 27, 2021 - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

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