Bipartisan legislation offered on May 28 by U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) would end a federally permitted tax deduction for business meals and appropriate the estimated $5 billion in savings to support government-funded childcare programs.
Specifically, the bill would redirect the savings to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program, which supports low-income working families by improving access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented major challenges for hardworking parents in west Michigan and across the country,” Rep. Meijer said. “Now, more than ever, we need to increase access to affordable childcare.”
The Choosing Healthy Investments and not Lunch Deductions (CHILD) Care Act of 2021, H.R. 3564, which Rep. Meijer cosponsored with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), would repeal a temporary rule known as the “three martini lunch deduction,” which increased the business meal and entertainment deduction from 50 percent to 100 percent, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s office.
“The full three martini lunch deduction is not the most effective use of taxpayer dollars and it’s time we repurpose these funds,” said Rep. Meijer. “Directing these resources to the Childcare Development Block Grant, which has long been underfunded, would give more childcare options to the families who need it most.”
H.R. 3564 has been endorsed by the Baxter Community Center, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Child Welfare League of America, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the Low Income Investment Fund, the National Women’s Law Center, New America’s Early and Elementary Education Policy Program, and ZERO TO THREE.
“Greater investments into the Child Care Development Block Grant program will allow centers like Baxter Child Development Center to provide a much-needed raise to our teachers, as well as make it possible to provide scholarships to parents who do not qualify for childcare subsidies. These investments are critical to families across the state,” said Aarie J. Wade, director of education for the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.