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U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has joined with several of her Senate colleagues to introduce the Right Start Child Care and Education Act, legislation that would expand the child care tax credit and provide other assistance to help families afford child care.
“This bill will provide much-needed relief for families struggling with the rising costs of child care,” Boxer said. “As President [Barack] Obama said during his State of the Union address, expanding the child care tax credit also strengthens our economy by helping more parents participate in the workforce.”
The bill would increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, making it equal to 35 to 50 percent of eligible expenses, an increase from the current range of 20 to 35 percent. It would also increase the maximum eligible expenses from $3,000 per child to $6,000 per child. The measure would meet the President’s goal of tripling the tax credit for working families, representatives said.
The legislation would also make it easier for employers to provide working parents with childcare by increasing the tax credit for employer-provided childcare from 25 percent of expenditures to 35 percent of expenditures.
Boxer was also part of a group that introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clearly label genetically engineered.
“Consumers have a right to know what is in the foods they eat and parents have a right to know what they are feeding their families,” Boxer said. “This legislation will direct the Food and Drug Administration to require clear information for food that has been genetically engineered.”
The FDA currently requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes, including labels for juices made “from concentrate”, but the agency has resisted labels for genetically modified foods.
Under the bill, if a food has been genetically engineered, it would be identified as a “GE food” in the ingredients list.
Any product that has been genetically engineered would also not be allowed to identify itself with a “natural” label.
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