Solving back-to-school stress

Families across the country are gearing up for the first day of school. New backpacks, sharpened pencils, and back-to-school outfits are filling wish lists – and emptying wallets. Back-to-school spending is estimated to total $26.5 billion this year, a slight decrease from 2013.

And the buck doesn’t stop there. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Expenditures on Children and Families report, the average cost of raising a child born in 2013 is $245,340. And once you equate inflation – that total rises to $304,480! The total cost varies from family to family, with multiple factors like income, education expenses, and region at play – but across the board, costs are rising annually.

Retailers are responding with multiple back-to-school discounts, tuition sweepstakes, and “freebies” for the season – but House Republicans know the stress of raising a family goes far beyond an annual school supply shopping trip.

To ease the financial burden, House Republicans have passed dozens of bills aimed at driving down every day costs. H.R. 3, which approves the Keystone XL Pipeline and H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act open up new energy prospects, lowers energy costs at the pump and at home.  Other bills, like the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act and the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act will help families receive benefits they deserve – and benefits that will help them bring home more of their paycheck.

But House Republicans also understand that the financial aspect is only one stress in raising a family – working families know that time and flexibility are also key. House Republicans have passed bills like H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, and H.R. 5110 the Save Medicare Home Health Act of 2014 to make the balance between work and home more manageable for American families.

Raising a child is hard work, great responsibility, and often costly. Yet despite these tribulations, families remain the core of our society. House Republicans understand and appreciate the sacrifices of parents across our nation. By passing bills that will help Americans bring home more of their paycheck, lower every day costs, and making the work and home balance more flexible, House Republicans are able to make life easier for these hard-working Americans. Yet, while dozens of these bills remain stuck on Senator Reid’s desk, we will not be dismayed. We will continue to work and create solutions that answer the real needs of every day American families.