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House Pushes At-Home Mom Inclusion

February 12, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Stay-at-home parents should not be overlooked by child care initiatives, according to a House resolution which reflected the Republican strategy on this election-year issue.

Democrats went along with the nonbinding resolution, which passed without dissent, though they complained that it said nothing about working parents who cannot afford to forgo a second income.

President Clinton’s $21.7 billion, five-year child care initiative proposes tax credits and subsidies to help parents pay child care bills, but it does nothing for stay-at-home parents.

``Federal child care policy should no longer discriminate against stay-at-home parents,″ said Rep. William Goodling, R-Pa., chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee. ``They make big sacrifices if they stay at home in order to rear their children. It’s time we recognize those sacrifices.″

Democrats complained that the resolution was sped to the House floor, skipping a vote in committee where they might have amended it to include other child care priorities. They accused Republicans of setting up a false choice between parents who stay at home and those who work.

``I regret that this resolution has chosen to focus on one group of parents,″ said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.

The resolution did not advocate any particular policy. Some Republicans have suggested that stay-at-home parents might qualify for the dependent-care tax credit, which now is available only to parents who pay for child care. Other Republicans have suggested an across-the-board tax cut that would give all families more money to spend as they see fit.

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