Representatives Escobar, Speier Lead Members in Call for $15 Billion Investment in Reconciliation to Fix Poor and Failing Military Child Care Facilities, Substandard Barracks
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and 23 cosigners sent a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders calling attention to the dilapidated state of military child development centers and barracks and calling for a transformational $15 billion investment as part of the forthcoming budget reconciliation package.
The lawmakers wrote:
“We face a crisis in the quality and capacity of facilities for child care for military families and housing for unaccompanied military personnel. The U.S. military has 135 child development centers in “Poor” or “Failing” condition, and in 2020 DoD reported nearly 9,000 children of servicemembers on waitlists with immediate need for child care. We have seen barracks that remind us of tenements and are wholly unacceptable for servicemembers to live in. The Army alone needs $10 billion to bring its barracks to ‘Good’ condition, and in many cases, to even meet minimum Army standards.”
“Annual appropriations are not sufficient to resolve this backlog—and meet our moral responsibility to provide servicemembers and military families with quality facilities with sufficient capacity for child care and decent, safe, modern housing. We believe that the upcoming reconciliation package is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do right by our military families. We request that you include the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in the reconciliation instructions in the upcoming budget resolution for the purpose of devoting $5 billion to military child development center facilities projects and $10 billion to barracks modernization. Such an investment will improve the quality of life and safety for servicemembers, promote the positive development of military children, and help military spouses obtain and maintain employment, further supporting the financial health of military families. It is one of the most important things we can do as a Congress to show support for the men and women who put their lives on the line for America.”
The letter is cosigned by Representatives Julia Brownley (CA-26), André Carson (IN-07), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Katie Porter (CA-45), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Dina Titus (NV-01), Juan Vargas (CA-51), and Filemon Vela (TX-34).
The complete letter is available here.