If President Biden’s infrastructure plan makes you first think of hard hats, roads and bridges — maybe in 2021, also wind, solar and electrical vehicles — you have not been paying attention as closely as many working women. On Capitol Hill, in the offices of congresswomen like single working mom and California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, and among organizations that study the role of women in politics and women in the labor force, the Biden infrastructure plan is being watched as a make-or-break moment for recognition of the role of caregivers as core infrastructure in the nation’s post-Covid rebuilding.
After seeing decades of gains made by women in the labor market erased by Covid-19, Porter and others say it is time for President Biden to follow through on his campaign promise to offer permanent federal help on issues of critical importance to working women, from paid parental leave, to more expansive federal child-care support, and permanent child tax credits.
But it is not clear whether the opportunity will be achieved. The Biden administration’s recent decision to focus on traditional projects in a first infrastructure plan and push back the caregiving infrastructure policy to a separate proposal at a later date, is an issue more Americans will need to speak up about, and it is not solely an issue for women, according to Rep. Porter, who spoke with CNBC’s Becky Quick at the CNBC @Work Summit on Tuesday.