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House Dems introduce bill recognizing low income mothers raising their kids as work

By Andrew Jones
Thursday, April 19, 2012 13:36 EDT
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A woman and her child. Image via Shutterstock.
 
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Buoyed by Mitt Romney publicly expressing that “All moms are working moms,” House Democrats introduced legislation that would revise Clinton-era welfare laws and allow stay-at-home mothers to be compensated for taking care of their young children without worrying about falling into abject poverty.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) and a number of prominent House Democrats, including female Reps. Gwen Moore (WI), Barbara Lee (CA), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Janice Schakowsky (IL), Rosa DeLauro (CA), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and Laura Richardson (CA), introduced the Women’s Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act, a bill that would allow stay-at-home mothers to raise their children three years or younger and continue receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, on Wednesday.

Under current law, raising children at home does not allow women to qualify for TANF funds.

Woolsey slammed the likely GOP presidential nominee for his past comments and praised the legislation in an interview with Raw Story.

“Unlike Mitt Romney, I personally experienced financial hardship so great that I went on public assistance to supplement my income and cover my children’s needs,” Woolsey said. “Of course full-time motherhood is work, no matter what your income. If Mitt Romney truly agrees, then he should support the WORK Act that allows stay-at-home mothers on TANF two additional years at home with their children.”

Moore agreed.

In a statement provided to Raw Story, she said, “As the mother of three children I know all too well how hard it can be raising children as well as being a working mom.” She added, “Moreover, the work of child rearing is only compounded when you are poor. And yet, Republicans continue to want to cut a massive hole in the social safety net that has sustained the most vulnerable of our society for years.”

Moore, too, encouraged the Romneys to support the bill: “If Ann Romney and Mitt really believe in the importance of having a stay-at-home parent for young children, they should support policies that make it possible for all parents, including low-income mothers. Sadly, Mitt has demonstrated that his support only extends to those who can afford it.”

“This is the same option that wealthy families, such as the Romneys, enjoy,” Stark said in a press release. “Mitt Romney was for ObamaCare before he was against it. Then, he was for forcing low-income mothers into the workforce before he decided ‘all moms are working moms’. I think we should take Mr. Romney at his most recent word and change our federal laws to recognize the importance and legitimacy of raising young children.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

[Ed. note: This article was edited after publication]

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
 
 
 
 
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