Norcross Introduces Bill to Reduce Military Spouse Unemployment, Increase Childcare Options
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) – a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee – introduced the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2020.
“Military families face unique challenges during their service to our nation, and unfortunately deployments and frequent moves can often lead to financial insecurity,” said Congressman Norcross. “My bill increases job opportunities for military spouses and expands access to affordable childcare, easing the burden on our servicemembers and their families by providing them the tools they need to succeed.”
The bill focuses on reducing military spouse unemployment – currently about six times the national average – by changing the tax code to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses. Additionally, the bill would improve servicemembers’ access to affordable childcare by establishing flexible spending accounts, which allow you to set aside pre-taxed dollars, to pay for out-of-pocket childcare expenses.
“The Work Opportunity Tax Credit has been instrumental in reducing veteran unemployment rates and could be a vital solution to addressing the high military spouse unemployment rate,” said Lt. Gen (Ret) Dana Atkins, CEO of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). “Additionally, every federal agency offers flexible spending accounts as an employee benefit. With the rising cost of health care and childcare, now is the time to extend that benefit to servicemembers to give them an option to mitigate these financial burdens.”
The legislation includes two main provisions:
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Expands the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses. The tax credit is already offered to businesses that hire veterans and other populations that face employment obstacles.
- Dependent Care Savings Accounts
- Makes flexible spending accounts available to military families so they can opt in to reserve pre-tax dollars from their paychecks to pay for out-of-pocket childcare expenses.
The bill is endorsed by the Military Officers Association of America.