U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-New York) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) have introduced a bill in Congress calling for the $8.5 billion in emergency funding that a coalition of youth sports organizations has sought in relief for the industry. The COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act calls for authorizing a relief fund for youth providers, programs and organizations affected by the pandemic but also asks for tax relief for families whose children are involved in physical activities.

The bill calls for expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to include expenses for youth physical activities, including organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, and other recreational activities. It also would ensure that expenses related to youth physical activities are eligible to be paid for with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and calls for an increase in the maximum contribution per household for Dependent Care FSAs from $5,000 to $10,000.

“Little League, youth soccer, dance and all our youth sports organizations and activities are so much more than a chance for our kids to play—they serve as foundations to our community,” Rose said. “But unfortunately like every other corner of our society, these organizations and the families that support them have been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus. They need our help and I’m proud to fight to get them the relief they so desperately need.”

The bill comes weeks after the PLAY Sports Coalition urged Congress for relief for youth sports organizations. More than 3,000 organizations have signed on to the coalition’s effort, which is being led by Jon Butler (Pop Warner), Jeremy Goldberg (LeagueApps), Keri King (Triple Crown Sports), Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (Olympic gold medalist and CEO of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA), Wayne B. Moss (National Council of Youth Sports), and Luke Zaientz (Reigning Champs).

“For the first time in our lifetime, summer approaches without young people attending camps, playing baseball and participating in other activities,” said Moss. “NCYS and the PLAY Sports Coalition are pleased to support the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act because it will provide relief to parents who desperately need help and will provide needed financial relief to support sports, recreation and fitness-related activities.”