Martin Bashir | April 19, 2012
>>> we've heard much ado about the value of work perform by mothers in the home. did you know that under the law, raising children doesn't count as the work activity that must be performed by recipients of temporary assistant to needy families. here's mitt romney in january explaining why.
>> i also like the idea that people who are receiving assistance, welfare assistance, have a responsibility of working. i wanted to increase the work requirement. i said, for instance, even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. and people said, that's heartless. and i said no, no, i'm willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. it will cost the state more providing that daycare but i want the individuals to have the dignity of work.
>> well, now, a group of house democrats are looking to give mothers on public assistance the dignity of staying home to raise their children. it is the work act. women 's option to raise kids. allowing mothers with small children to stay home and continue receiving benefits. and congresswoman jan joins us now to talk about it. the romney bluff over hilary rosen 's comments. she saw this as a political tint and a birthday gift. if they really believe in supporting mothers who boring in the home, why won't mitt romney offer his support for this bill you yourself have co-sponsored?
>> i hope that he now does have what sounds like a more evolved position on work which is that all moms work. inside and outside the home. he can prove that by supporting legislation, and marine, these moms could only stay home until their children are 4 years old. and then they would have to meet the work requirements that mitt romney thinks are so important. and go out and find a job. that's not so easy, as you well know. there aren't a lot of jobs and he talks about childcare. it is not so easy to find great childcare. did you know that you have to bring diapers to most childcare centers. and any poor woman who is really struggling knows, it is really expensive to do that. you can't even use your food stamps to buy diapers. so the barriers for poor women who are raising children are just enormous. but at least we ought to dignify their work as moms by letting them stay home until their kids are 4 years old.
>> we know that mitt romney has more positions than a six-headed monkey god . one minute he's telling poor parents that he doesn't want them to stay at home because they need the dignity of work. the next minute he is saying his wife did a wonderful thing in staying at home and nurturing their five children. isn't the reality of this situation that having vast amounts of money is the only way parents can have an option about whether they can stay at home . the fact of the matter is, this is an economic problem for most families. they have no choice because they need to work.
>> well, that's absolutely true. i really don't know of any young couples that get married today, middle class couples, even thoes doing fairly well who even consider the idea of one of them staying home to raise the children. it is very, very difficult, particularly if you want to save, if you want to buy a home, if you want to pay of on your student loans. so it really is a luxury these days for mom to be able to stay home and raise the kids. but if you're lower income, it is, it is just virtually impossible right now not to look for some outside income.
>> now, perhaps predictably, your house colleague, congresswoman michele bachmann was outraged about comments saying that stay at home moms don't work. take a listen to what she said on "meet the press."
>> insulting women who make the choices to stay at home and care for their children. i think we need to lift up women that take on the most difficult job in the world.
>> she wants to lift up women . do you think she's going to reach across the aisle and support this bill?
>> well, it's not only this piece of legislation. michele bachmann has already voted for legislation that would cut, yesterday it was $33 billion from the snap program. that's the food stamp program . half of the people on the snap program are children or people with disabilities or seniors. the wick program, the women , infant and children program, has been on the chopping block by the republicans. so michele bachmann has already made it more difficult, as all the republicans have if they've supported the ryan republican budget and many of the cuts. made it more difficult for working women who are struggling so hard to make it and take care of their children.
>> thank you. and thank you particularly for telling us that women can't spend money from their food stamps on diapers. we did not know that and that is a disturbing and very sad fact. thank