Five Pro-Family Priorities for the 118th Congress and Beyond

Published February 16, 2023


Policies and Public Opinion on Putting Families First

Executive Summary

Families are under threat from a culture that often undermines family life and from economic trends that leave parents feeling squeezed. This report offers five policy ideas, based on new polling, that will support family life, strengthen marriage, and stand up for parents.

The family is the primary social institution oriented towards the bearing and rearing of children. An agenda to strengthen that institution should protect families from the economic and cultural forces that can undermine them. This report, a collaboration between the Institute for Family Studies and the Ethics and Public Policy Center, offers five policy ideas for an authentically pro-family Congress to champion.

  • Strengthen the Child Tax Credit to bolster work and marriage in a fiscally prudent way
    • 82% of parents agree that a family with a worker present should be eligible for the full value of the Child Tax Credit
  • Give parents more tools to protect their kids online
    • 80% of parents support requiring parental permission before a minor opens a social media account, and 77% support giving parents administrator-level access to what kids are seeing and doing online
  • Create a straightforward paid leave benefit for new parents with broad-based eligibility
    • 71% of parents support a federal six-week benefit for new moms
  • Advance policies that strengthen the fundamental bonds between fathers, mothers, and their children
    • 65% of parents support teaching the Success Sequence in schools, and 63% support enforcing child support during pregnancy
  • Reduce or eliminate marriage penalties facing low-income and working-class families
    • 62% of parents think Congress should remove marriage penalties in safety-net programs

Strong families are the key to a flourishing society. Stable families lead to better outcomes for parents, children, and communities. Likewise, policies that support marriage, parenthood, and family life will make it possible for more Americans to reap those benefits. This report is intended to highlight popular priorities for a pro-family agenda that could meaningfully advance that vision.

Read the Full Report

Patrick T. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where his work with the Life and Family Initiative focuses on developing a robust pro-family economic agenda and supporting families as the cornerstone of a healthy and flourishing society.

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