BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT/AP) — First Lady Jill Biden arrived in Birmingham Friday morning as part of her “Help is Here” tour to address child poverty.
The first lady is promoting the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package as a way to address childhood poverty. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law last month.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-7th District) joined the first lady while she toured the James Rushton Early Learning Center. Dr. Biden then delivered remarks at the YWCA of Central Alabama in Birmingham.
The first lady says she believes the American Rescue Plan will benefit children and families in poverty.
“Parents want to work, but they can’t if they’re busy taking care of their children or supporting them on remote learning,” Dr. Biden said. “And that’s why millions of women have dropped out of the workforce.”
The safe reopening of schools marks a return to normal for students, teachers, and their families—many of whom have been forced to stay at home or work remotely.
“You’re doing the best that you can, but still, so many of us find ourselves sitting at the kitchen counter surrounded by bills, trying to figure out this impossible map,” Dr. Biden said. “But for those of you that are holding your breath, I want you to know this: help is here.”
Dr. Biden says the American Rescue Plan will provide a “life raft” for struggling families by cutting child poverty in half.
The plan will give families who have children 6 years old and younger a $3,600 tax credit next year. Families with children above the age of 6 will received a $3,000 tax credit. Parents will be reimbursed for half of their child care expenses, up to $8,000, in their tax returns as early as next year.
While actor Jennifer Garner was supposed to accompany Dr. Biden, she cancelled the trip due to the possibility of severe weather. The two originally planned on coming to Alabama on March 26 but postponed their visit due to severe weather that spawned devastating tornadoes in Central Alabama.
Full remarks can be found here.