READING, Pa. — Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey visited the YMCA in downtown Reading on Monday to pitch his plan to help children reach their full potential.

The Democrat's "Five Freedoms for America's Children" plan calls for making healthcare for kids more affordable and making sure they can earn a living wage when they grow up.

Casey said his plan also calls for investing in early learning and school meal programs and stronger ways to protect kids from abuse.

Casey said the American Rescue Plan made a down payment on those things, and the looming infrastructure and $3.5-trillion budget bills are a chance to make things permanent.

"In the end, if we're going to move forward as a country, we've got to invest in our children, we've got to invest in care-giving, and we have to invest in strategies to get the cost of raising a family down," Casey said.

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey opposes the infrastructure and budget bills.

Toomey said the infrastructure bill is too expensive, too expansive, and it's not paid for; he said the budget bill would redefine the role of the federal government in the lives of average Americans.

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