More money for families with Romney's Family Security Act 2.0

Senator Mitt Romney has introduced a new bill titled the Family Security Act 2.0.  The proposal would benefit working-class families and provide them with a monthly payment of $350 for every child, plus $250 a month for every child in school.  This is Romney's second attempt at such legislation; the first time, the American Rescue Plan passed instead.  The original American Family Security Act was put up as an alternative to the Biden-endorsed the legislation. Senator Romney's latest proposal has two co-sponsors in the Senate: Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

The Family Security Act 2.0 is the conservative alternative to assisting low-income families who are married and have children.  The overview of the legislation states that "[t]he plan would reduce the scope of the federal government by streamlining multiple complex federal programs into one easy-to-navigate policy for working families. ... The Family Security Act 2.0 creates a new national commitment to working for American families by modernizing and simplifying antiquated federal policies into a monthly cash benefit."

Conservative traditionalists have often viewed work and marriage as the path out of poverty, but COVID-19 and high inflation have made that more challenging, with birth rates dropping 20% since 2007.

The proposal also streamlines the tax code by giving tax breaks and restructuring the earned income tax credit.  The "head of household" filing status, the child-and-dependent-care credit, and the SALT deduction (state and local tax) are eliminated from the tax filing.

Eliminating the SALT deduction will likely receive pushback from the Democrats in Congress, pushing to increase the taxes in Democrat-run states.  SALT deductions tend to benefit Americans who earn a higher income, as they have a maximum cap of $10,000, but middle-class families would be better off in the long run in their net income based on how many children they have.

The Niskanen Center, a civil liberties think-tank, recently published its proposal analysis, saying, "Many members of Congress found themselves disappointed by the failure to come to a workable compromise on a permanent expansion of the child tax credit.  They concluded by saying, "The Romney-Burr-Daines plan offers an innovative way forward by addressing longstanding conservative concerns about the potential impact of our family security system on work, marriage, and poverty.  It merits close consideration."

Under the current law, families are eligible to receive $2,000.  Under the Romney plan, that would increase to $3,000 for families with children between the ages of six and seventeen, including a $4,200 tax credit for every child under the age of six.  This would be provided in monthly payments and start four months before a baby's delivery date.  Senators Romney, Daines, and Burr point out that their bill helps working-class families and does not add to the U.S. debt anymore.

In his statement about the plan, Senator Daines said, "Families are the building blocks of our communities — we must ensure that parents and children are receiving the support they need.  Our plan will ensure that family policies are working for real families, while not adding to the national debt."  He added, "This framework will strengthen our commitment to help working American families grow and thrive, while also recognizing that the costs of a new baby begin even before that child is born."

The Family Security Act 2.0 has received praise and endorsements from pro-life advocates and conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council, National Right to Life, and Democrats for Life.

In a now post-Roe world, conservative lawmakers need to focus on economic agendas that help young families with kids.  "Building a culture of life takes creativity and rethinking the status quo," said Marilyn Musgrave of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America in her endorsement.  The Family Security Act 2.0 is pro-life legislation for now and for future generations.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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