By Isabella Diez, Policy Intern
On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Ways and Means Committee held the hearing “The Burnout Epidemic and What Working Women Need for a Stronger Economy.” In this hearing, five witnesses were discussing what women need to boost a stronger economy and the burnout epidemic. There are one million women who have not returned to the workforce and over two-thirds of working women are experiencing burnout with all their stresses and responsibilities. Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) noted, “We cannot expect our economy to perform to its fullest potential when a large swath of the workforce can’t even get through the door.”
The testimonies given by single mothers, primary caregivers, sandwich generation mothers, and small business owners provided diverse perspectives on the importance of the Protecting Worker’s Paycheck and Family Choice Act. We heard from Tori Snyder from Pennsylvania, Nija Phelps from Connecticut, Donna Price from Ohio, Johna Beech from Alaska, and Alicia Huey from Alabama. The main concerns the witnesses brought up were the needs for affordable and quality childcare, paid medical and family leave, and expanded home and community-based services.
Much of the discussion centered on rising inflation and whether expanding funds to childcare and paid leave could affect inflation disproportionality. While the minority argues that expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) has led to inflation increase, the Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen stated in a recent Senate Finance Hearing “that the expansion of the CTC was not a significant factor and has nothing to do with inflation.” Moreover, Ms. Snyder and Ms. Phelps both testified to how the CTC was a “lifeline” for them, illustrating the critical need for the expansion of CTC. After these moving testimonies, the committee ended the hearing by pledging to take responsibility and look for a solution that is satisfactory for both sides.