The Work Act: Republicans Hate It, But Still Love Working Moms

What Women Really Think
April 20 2012 6:06 PM

Republicans Struggle To Support Working Moms While Hating the WORK Act

Earlier this week, I wrote about a new Democratic-proposed bill called the WORK (Women’s Option to Raise Kids) Act that would allow mothers receiving welfare benefits to count raising children under 4 as the “work activity” required under the law. In a witty move, the sponsors of the bill couched their proposal as a response to Mitt Romney’s recent statement that “all mothers are working mothers”—in other words, what’s good for Ann Romney should be good for poorer women, too.

Well, how do you think Republicans responded to the idea? The Huffington Post collected a number of responses, and reading the interviewees struggle to reconcile their support for Romney-like moms but barely-disguised hatred for less-privileged mothers on the dole has been the highlight of my Friday. Here’s the best quote:

Advertisement

"Anybody who knows what they're talking about would know it's darn hard work," said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The entire issue is that women bear a disproportionate share of the hard work. Birthing, carrying, the whole thing -- it's hard work."

But he raised his voice when asked if that meant he could support the Democratic bill.

"Of course not!" he said. "I'm for jobs!"

That’s some fine linguistic parsing between “work” and “jobs.” If you’re looking for comical kick-off to your weekend, check out the rest of Jennifer Bendery’s excellent piece

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.