The House of Representatives holds a vote on speaker of the House on Jan. 3, the first day of the 118th Congress.
Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/ Getty 

In September, when billions of dollars in child care funding were about to expire, a Senate subcommittee convened to discuss solutions. It was there that Sen. John Kennedy laid out the partisan tension at the heart of what’s billed as a bipartisan issue. 

He agreed that child care was an investment in the current and future workforce. Being opposed to affordable child care, the Louisiana Republican said, “is like being opposed to golden retrievers — no fair-minded person can be opposed to it.” 

What he wanted to know was how the United States would pay for it. 

“Nobody around here ever stands up and says, ‘I’ve got a lousy idea and I need money for it.’ It’s always couched as an investment,” Kennedy said. “You go to the bank and you want to borrow, say, $1 million, you can’t tell the banker: ‘You owe […]

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