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House Republicans Oppose Bill That Would Help Low-Income Moms Stay Home Like Ann Romney

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM
  • 47 Replies

Should moms who receive public assistance be able to continue to receive benefits if they stay at home with young children full-time?


House Republicans Oppose Bill That Would Help Low-Income Moms Stay Home Like Ann Romney

Posted: 04/19/2012 6:39 pm Updated: 04/19/2012 6:49 pm

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans emphatically agree with Mitt Romney that stay-at-home moms work just as hard as anybody in the workforce. But when it comes to applying that standard to mothers on welfare, they draw the line.

Romney weighed in on the work of stay-at-home moms last week after Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen suggested that Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mom, had "never worked a day in her life." Mitt Romney defended his wife's choice to stay home with their five sons by saying, "All moms are working moms."

"Well, I agree," Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said of Romney's comment.

But when Mica was informed of a Democratic bill that would allow child rearing to count toward the required "work activity" that must be performed by recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families -- the federal program born out of welfare reform in 1996 -- he had a change of heart.

"It's a stretch. It's a stretch. It's a stretch," Mica told The Huffington Post earlier this week.

Specifically, the bill, called the Women's Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act, would allow low-income mothers with children ages 3 and under to stay at home with their children and continue receiving benefits. It will be introduced by Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and has about half a dozen Democratic cosponsors.

"It really is a luxury these days for a mom to be able to stay home and raise the kids," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a cosponsor of the WORK Act, said Thursday on MSNBC. "But if you're lower income, it's just virtually impossible right now not to look for some outside income."

Mica tried to explain why he thinks the work of stay-at-home moms is different from other kinds of work.

"It is work, but it isn't work in the normal sense that you would qualify for those kind of benefits," he said.

Asked if he understood the point that Democrats were trying to make with their bill -- that if everyone agrees that raising children is real work, the government should treat it as such, too -- Mica said he did.

"I see the argument. Yeah," he said. "But it doesn't pass the test."

Some Republicans became irate as they tried to square their views on the work of stay-at-home mothers with the aim of the Democratic proposal.

"Anybody who knows what they're talking about would know it's darn hard work," said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The entire issue is that women bear a disproportionate share of the hard work. Birthing, carrying, the whole thing -- it's hard work."

But he raised his voice when asked if that meant he could support the Democratic bill.

"Of course not!" he said. "I'm for jobs!"

Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who is running for Senate, called the Democratic bill "disgusting."

"Frankly, the idea that Democrats are doing something like this is disgusting," Mack said. "That being said, we should honor women not only for the work they do outside the home, but for the hard work at home."

Tea Party favorite Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) described raising children as "the most precious and valuable work that gets done in America." But he scoffed when he learned of the Democratic bill.

"There are lots of things we can describe as work. Is raising children as a mother work? Is raising children as a father work? Is washing the car work?" King asked. "I'd like to be paid for washing my car, but we have to draw the line somewhere."

The Iowa Republican said the most important work is "raising children right," and part of that means that "they get the message to be self-reliant, not to rely on the government, but to be self-reliant as Ann and Mitt Romney's five sons are."

He speculated that Mitt and Ann Romney's values would be quite different if Ann had been collecting TANF benefits while staying home raising her sons.

"They wouldn’t be saying, 'Go out there and get a job and contribute to the economy and pay taxes.' They would be saying, 'Find a way to game the system,'" King said. "Mothers would start to teach that to the children even more ... because they would be rewarded for gaming the system."

Not all House Republicans had such strong reactions to the idea of the government treating child rearing as work.

"That has some logic to it," Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said when he learned of the Democratic proposal. Asked if he could support it, he said it's possible.

"I'd definitely consider it," he said.

Bishop guessed that some of his GOP colleagues were having such strong reactions to the bill because they didn't agree with the TANF program in the first place. In the case of his own family, he said his wife stayed home to raise their kids, which was financially challenging since he was a schoolteacher and she was a school secretary.

"Unfortunately, I'm not one of the rich people here," Bishop said.

Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), a father of six, said nobody knows better than his wife that being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. She has a book out on the topic and, in the wake of Rosen's comments, she went on CNN and CNBC to push back. Duffy and his wife are already known TV personalities: They were both castmates on MTV's "The Real World," which is how they met.

"It reeks of politics," Duffy said of the Democratic bill. He acknowledged that some parents have the ability to choose to stay home because they have the money to do it, while others don't. But Duffy never quite answered the question about whether he thought the government should classify raising children as work.

When asked about the idea of Ann Romney babysitting for low-income moms who can't afford to stay home, Duffy didn't offer much of a response, though said she would be able to say she understood how hard they had to work because she went through the same thing.

"You know what, a poopy diaper is a poopy diaper," he said. "Whether you're in a rich house or a poor house."

by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Carpy
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM
3 moms liked this

Ann Romney is married to a man that makes enough money to allow her to stay at home.

PamR
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 7:13 PM


Quote:

Ann Romney is married to a man that makes enough money to allow her to stay at home.
Yes, she is.  But if the role of sahm is so important, especially for very young children, should moms on PA be able to remain at home until their children are old enough to begin school?

Mamawto4
by Bronze Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM
8 moms liked this

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard, even coming from those in government.    Sorry, but being poor just doesn't give you as many options as being rich does.  Sorry, but if you're poor, and especially if you're poor and have kids, you are likely going to work more/harder than someone who is rich. 

Women get to choose to stay at home and raise their children rather than also work outside the home only because they have husbands/partners who are willing/able to work/earn more in their jobs.  The taxpayers are not willing nor able to take the place of husbands for single mother's. 

Sorry.  Life ain't fair.  Get over it, and start providing for YOUR own family.  Whatever that takes, part time, full time, volunteer work until something that pays comes along, searching for work, babysitting for other's who have found work, going to school.......Whatever it may be, just keep moving forward and eventually you will get somewhere.

mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM


Quoting Mamawto4:

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard, even coming from those in government.    Sorry, but being poor just doesn't give you as many options as being rich does.  Sorry, but if you're poor, and especially if you're poor and have kids, you are likely going to work more/harder than someone who is rich. 

Women get to choose to stay at home and raise their children rather than also work outside the home only because they have husbands/partners who are willing/able to work/earn more in their jobs.  The taxpayers are not willing nor able to take the place of husbands for single mother's. 

Sorry.  Life ain't fair.  Get over it, and start providing for YOUR own family.  Whatever that takes, part time, full time, volunteer work until something that pays comes along, searching for work, babysitting for other's who have found work, going to school.......Whatever it may be, just keep moving forward and eventually you will get somewhere.

There is so much to address here, I don't know where to start. But here goes:

Since poor women are the only mothers who are not needed at home, when exactly should they get their butts back to work after giving birth? The next day? Should their one month old babies be in the care of strangers? Or, how about when their babies are 3 months old? That's how it is here in NYC. Once a woman's baby reaches 3 months, she has no choice but to put her child in childcare. Who cares if the child is not being treated right? These kids can't communicate, so to hell with them right?... Who cares that "poor" children need the same nurturing, bonding and everything else that rich and middle class children need....

If these mothers are out there volunteering until a paying job comes along, how is her rent getting paid? Who pays for that childcare? How does her baby eat? the same thing if she does go to school? What, she can only go to school and do a Home Health Aide class right? Quick and free. Or, she can be a security guard...

not all women get to choose whether they can stay at home or have to work. Sometimes life makes that choice for them. Even in homes where there are both parents, mothers do not have the luxury of being able to stay at home. Some families need two-paychecks to get by. Some husbands/partners have been laid off from their jobs and can't find work right now. In some households the roles have reversed. Now Daddy's the one who has to stay home and mommy is the one working.

And guess what, there are women who are poor and do get to stay at home with their kids. Their families may not have much as far as material things are concerned, but, their husbands /partners work hard. Even though they may be poor, their men know how important it is for the mother of their children to be at home, raising the kids. They know that sometimes, depending on which neighborhood they live in, It can be the difference between their children going to jail as they get older or being productive in life. Every child regardless of their socioeconomic status deserves the same opportunities to grow and make it in life...

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

So, there it is... motherhood is the most important job in the world, as long as you have the money to stay at home if you choose to do so. Poor mothers are not needed at home with their young children. Poor women don't get to have a choice... their kids be damned...

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

_Kissy_
by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM
1 mom liked this
They love SAHM's, except the ones that live in gov subsidized housing
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mustbeGRACE
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 9:58 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting mommygiggles317:

So, there it is... motherhood is the most important job in the world, as long as you have the money to stay at home if you choose to do so. Poor mothers are not needed at home with their young children. Poor women don't get to have a choice... their kids be damned...

Sooooooooooooo...........we need other people to pay for yet one more thing.

Great.

LIMom1105
by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:01 PM
1 mom liked this

One question in my mind, who is subsidizing childcare so these poor mothers can go to work?  The majority surely earn barely enough to pay for childcare, which means they are working but poorer than they would be on public assistance, or the govt. is paying for their childcare.  If the latter is the case, how much is that costing us?

I believe Romney once said that he did pay for childcare while Gov. in MA, and he admitted that it cost the state more money than if these women were on public assistance, but he wanted them to have the dignity of working. Sounds noble, but less so when you think about it.

mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM


Quoting mustbeGRACE:


Quoting mommygiggles317:

So, there it is... motherhood is the most important job in the world, as long as you have the money to stay at home if you choose to do so. Poor mothers are not needed at home with their young children. Poor women don't get to have a choice... their kids be damned...

Sooooooooooooo...........we need other people to pay for yet one more thing.

Great.

In case you didn't know, it's called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Temporary... What is the point of having people go through a revolving door system. Instead of having mothers with children who are not old enough to attend school get off and then get back on welfare; make it so that until their children are old enough, if they choose to they can get assistance.

I'll pose my question i asked to someone else to you then... How old should a baby be, before it's morther has to go to work? a day old, a week, a month, 3 months? What do you feel is appropriate?...

P.S. it's not one more thing to be paid for, it's already being paid for... some people are trying to fix a broken system. Others have no clue what to do to make things better, so they just say cut everything...

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

kellysp6637
by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM
7 moms liked this

 Thank God. 

Sorry, but staying home is NOT an entitlement......staying home is a LUXURY......and the taxpayer should NOT subsidize those who CHOOSE to stay home........if you can afford to stay home without government assistance, good for you...but if you can't then it's NOT the taxpayer's responsibility to make it possible for you.

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