Friday, September 30, 2022

Republicans not rushing to support more help for parents after Roe’s fall

Republicans applauded the Supreme Court’s recent decision to end the federal right to abortion, a change likely to lead to more births and hardship for parents. But that doesn’t mean the party is pushing new policies to really help these parents.

In recent years, Democrats have increasingly supported things like direct cash assistance or paid family leave. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last month, foreshadowed by a leak in May, has not attracted more Republicans.

“I’m not sure the government can fix that,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said this week when asked if the federal government had a bigger role to play in helping parents in a post-earthquake world. Roe.

“I would be willing to support families and family building,” said Cornyn, a member of the Senate GOP leadership. “But that’s separate and apart from the abortion questions as far as I’m concerned.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization undid the court’s nearly five-decade opinion guaranteeing abortion rights, creating a patchwork of abortion access across the country. Millions of Americans in more than a dozen states can no longer get abortions, and Republican lawmakers in some states are threatening to ban interstate travel to end a pregnancy.

Experts say rolling back Roe will have a disproportionate impact on low-income households and people of color. It could lead to a dramatic increase in the number of births. A health care consulting firm Estimate there will be an additional 150,000 live births in the US each year. There were 3.6 million births in the US in 2021.

But many Republicans maintain that the United States does enough to support families. They also bristle at the idea that their opposition to more federal aid means they don’t support children.

“[Democrats] ignore the trillions of dollars in benefits that are already there and what is already being done and say that unless they do another trillions of dollars, they don’t really love children. It’s absurd,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told HuffPost.

Lankford said he favors stricter child support enforcement against indolent parents and easier adoption.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has been one of the only Republicans on Capitol Hill willing to adopt a monthly cash allowance for parents.  (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has been one of the only Republicans on Capitol Hill willing to adopt a monthly cash allowance for parents. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

Children have higher poverty rates than other age groups in the US, in large part because the labor market does not accommodate parents. Other rich countries offer paid parental leave and a monthly child allowance; The United States has none.

Democrats created an allowance for children as part of the American Rescue Plan last year. For six months, parents received up to $300 per child. Democrats planned to make the payments a permanent fixture of the welfare state, envisioning the policy as “Social Security for children,” but failed to extend the policy as part of a broader welfare spending bill that collapsed in the face of the internal opposition.

Some Republican lawmakers have dabbled in family-friendly politics, bringing several proposals to the Supreme Court that gutted abortion rights. But none of them have won large-scale party support.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has proposed an alternative version of the Democratic child subsidy that would offset the cost of the program by consolidating other welfare policies. For Romney, part of the motivation for politics would be to encourage people to have children, while Democrats have tended to focus more on reducing child poverty.

Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Richard Burr (RN.C.) recently joined Romney in proposing a new version of your billthis one with a “pro-life” provision that allows pregnant women to claim the child tax credit while they are pregnant, before their children are born.

Burr, who is retiring, told HuffPost that he did not expect increased support for Romney’s bill now that federal law no longer protects access to abortion. The main hurdle is that there isn’t much incentive for Republicans to jump into what would be a heavily Democratic bill when the Senate’s agenda this summer is already packed with other legislation.

“There’s no compelling reason to participate in something like that because there’s no way to pass it,” Burr said.

A dozen Senate Republicans and 31 House Republicans co-sponsored a symbolic bill that would allow only pregnant women to claim a tax credit for their unborn baby, as Romney’s proposal would. But no additional lawmakers signed the legislation after the Supreme Court made its decision.

“There are a lot of costs that occur in that first year” before a baby is born, said Lankford, one of the Senate bill’s cosponsors. “Everybody ignores that year of buying the crib, buying clothes, collecting diapers, all that kind of stuff.”

Republicans have also written several proposals that provide paid parental leave, though unlike Democratic plans, they don’t offer direct federal assistance. Instead, the proposals allow working families to advance existing child tax credits or their Social Security benefits.

“I would be open to supporting families and family building… But that’s separate and apart from abortion issues as far as I’m concerned.”

– Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas)

Joshua McCabe, a family economic security analyst at the centrist Niskanen Center, said there is a lot of energy among right-wing pundits that could eventually trickle down to lawmakers.

“I think Dobbs’ decision lit a fire under some butts,” McCabe said.

Republicans tend to believe that reducing material hardship makes people less likely to work, an economic ideology that seems to trump any desire to make life easier for parents.

“I think we should have safety nets,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). “What I don’t want to do is put people in a position where healthy Americans aren’t working.”

To allay those concerns, Romney added a “work requirement” to his child benefit proposal, but he has yet to win over Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) or Mike Lee (Utah), who favor expanding the Child tax credit for working. fathers.

Romney said he hasn’t tried to reach across the aisle yet because he’s waiting for Democrats to finish negotiating among themselves on a new version of his “budget reconciliation” bill that previously included a child benefit created from a expansion of the child tax credit.

“Assuming that child care or the child tax credit is not part of the final package that the Democrats come up with on reconciliation, then we will begin more extensive negotiations with the Democrats,” Romney said.

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) said he still hopes Democrats will include a monthly child benefit in his reconciliation bill, but the odds are slim. “If that doesn’t work out, I think there will be a bipartisan bargain this year,” he said.

But Bennett suggested that he didn’t think the Supreme Court would inspire Republicans to negotiate.

“I don’t think anything can offset the damage from Dobbs’ decision,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
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