In Post-Roe World, Conservatives Embrace New Kind of Welfare

Photo credit: Reuters

An influential group of conservative intellectuals hope to represent the future of a post-Trump Republican Party. 

These conservatives are pushing Republicans to move on from Reagan-era family policies and send cash to families. 

Some lawmakers are listening. 

Sending cash to parents with few strings attached, the expansion of medicaid, and child care subsidies to families earning six figures may sound far away from a Republican mission statement. 

These conservatives generally oppose abortion rights. They promote marriage, and are worried about declining fertility rates and birth rates.

What they acknowledge is that with abortion now illegal or tightly restricted in half the states, more babies will be born to parents struggling to pay for the basics, such as health care, child care, groceries, and rent. 

Prices are high. Child care spaces are in short supply. 

The idea of spending heavily on family benefits remains an outlier within the Republican Party. 

Just recently, the Republicans rejected Democrats’ attempts to extend Covid-era child tax credits. 

A key priority for this new network of conservative thinkers is for the federal government to send parents cash monthly for each child, a sea change from decades of Republican thinking on family policy. 

A number of conservative members of Congress have embraced new benefits for parents. This includes Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio.

President Joe Biden called on Republicans during his State of the Union address to join him in providing families with child care, paid leave, child tax credits and affordable housing.

“A full-spectrum family policy has to be about encouraging and supporting people in getting married and starting families,” said Oren Cass, executive director of the American Compass think tank. “It has to be pro-life, but also supportive of those families as they are trying to raise kids in an economic environment where that has become a lot harder to do.”

“The work of the family is real work,” said Erika Bachiochi, a legal scholar who calls herself a pro-life feminist.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.