Reps Watson Coleman, Delauro, Lee Reintroduce the Improving Diaper Affordability Act
Acknowledging the financial challenge families face in affording diapers and other necessities during this pandemic, today Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Barbara Lee (CA-12) announced the reintroduction of the Improving Diaper Affordability Act to make the purchase of diapers tax-free.
“Diapers are essential, not a luxury, and even before the pandemic, families were struggling to afford them,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “This legislation is a simple way to make sure that families aren’t stretching their stock and waiting to change a baby, which can lead to rashes and infections. We have to do more on every front to support working families trying to make ends meet – this is one way we can do that.”
The Improving Diaper Affordability Act would also make the purchase of diapers reimbursable through Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), giving families even more flexibility and savings when buying them.
“I am proud to join my dear friends, two champions of our nation’s children Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman and Lee, in introducing the Improving Diaper Affordability Act,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “As families struggle to purchase diapers because of the rising cost of living, it is imperative we do all we can to keep children healthy and safe. In my home state, diapers have been tax exempt since 2018, and Congress should help families around the country in those states that have not taken the same steps as Connecticut. I urge my colleagues to help us pass this critical legislation that will deeply impact a baby and child’s well-being.”
“Diaper need is an invisible part of poverty in America, with diaper costs averaging as much as $100 a month per child,” said Congresswoman Lee. “While millions of children and families struggle with diaper need, most government programs do nothing to alleviate this need. Our Improving Diaper Affordability Act would remedy this issue and ensure families have access to basic necessities by making the purchase of diapers tax-free and reimbursable through Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). I urge my colleagues to support this legislation to support American babies and families’ well-being.”
Pre-pandemic data indicated one in three families experienced diaper need, and nearly half of families delayed changing their child’s diaper to extend supply. What’s more, low-income families spent 14 percent of their post-tax earnings on diapers. Each of these statistics demonstrate a need that existed before COVID-19 and has only grown since, with diaper banks nationwide reporting two- to threefold increases in need.
The Improving Diaper Affordability Act is cosponsored by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Rob Menendez (NJ-08), Danny Davis (IL-07), John Larson (CT-01), and Kevin Mullin (CA-15).
To view the text of the Improving Diaper Affordability Act, click here.