What’s Behind New Proposals to Help the American Family?

Democrats and Republicans both seem to think that the family needs help. But they don’t agree on what a family is, or what government support would aim to accomplish.

A mother gives a hug to her third-grade daughter during at-home learning in Orange, CA on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images.

A mother gives a hug to her third-grade daughter during at-home learning in Orange, CA on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images.

Observation
Jan. 17 2022
About the author
Andy Smarick is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where his work focuses on education, civil society, and the principles of American conservatism.

In recent years, discussions of “family policy” have picked up steam across the political spectrum. On the left, the Democrat-sponsored Build Back Better Act promises subsidized childcare, free universal pre-school services, and an expanded child tax credit, among other things. The Republican senator Mitt Romney of Utah, meanwhile, has proposed a straightforward, monthly cash stipend for families through his Family Security Act. Debates over how best to deliver benefits, and to whom, have frequented the op-ed pages of major newspapers for months.

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More about: Family policy, Marriage, Politics & Current Affairs