Ten days after taking office, the President established a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, led by Vice President Biden. The Task Force is focused on raising the living standards of middle-class, working families across America.
The President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided needed support to families enduring difficult times.
•The Act protects health coverage for 7 million Americans who lose their jobs through a 65 percent COBRA subsidy to make coverage affordable.
•The Act also boosts family incomes by expanding the Child Tax Credit to cover an additional 10 million children in working families and creating a new Make Work Pay tax credit.
•To help working mothers and fathers obtain quality child care, the Act includes an additional $2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $1 billion for Head Start, and $1.1 billion for Early Head Start.
•To fight hunger, the Act includes a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, as well as funding for food banks and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
•The Act increases the Weatherization Assistance Program by $5 billion to help low income families save on their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
•The Act increases job training funds for those who need them most, with $3.95 billion in additional funding for the Workforce Investment system, which will support green job training, summer jobs for young people, and other opportunities.
•The Act provides increased income support, including an increase of $25 per week for Unemployment Insurance recipients and incentives for states to expand unemployment insurance eligibility, as well as an extra $250 payment to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries and new resources for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
A strong nation is made up of strong families. Every family deserves the chance that so many of our parents and grandparents had – to make a better future for themselves and their children. Strong families will always be front and center of President Obama’s agenda.
Support Working Families
President Obama is committed to creating jobs and economic opportunities for families across America. And he is restoring fairness to the tax code and increasing child care so that working families have the support they need.
Reform Health Care
President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform in his first year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctors, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Invest in Education
President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career. First, the President supports a seamless and comprehensive set of services and support for our youngest children, from birth through age 5. Next, President Obama will reform and invest in K-12 education so that America’s public schools deliver a 21st Century education that prepares all children for success in the new global workplace. Finally, President Obama is committed to ensuring that America will regain its lost ground and have the highest proportion of students graduating from college in the world by 2020.
Promote Work-family Balance
Millions of women and men face the challenge of trying to balance the demands of their jobs and the needs of their families. Too often, caring for a child or an aging parent puts a strain on a career or even leads to job loss. President Obama believes we need flexible work policies, such as paid sick leave, so that working women and men do not have to choose between their jobs and meeting the needs of their families.
President Obama was raised by a single parent and knows the difficulties that young people face when their fathers are absent. He is committed to responsible fatherhood, by supporting fathers who stand by their families and encouraging young men to work towards good jobs in promising career pathways. The President has also proposed an historic investment in providing home visits to low-income, first-time parents by trained professionals. The President and First Lady are also committed to ensuring that children have nutritious meals to eat at home and at school, so that they grow up healthy and strong.