Sending cash to parents, with few strings attached. Expanding Medicaid. Providing child care subsidies to families earning six figures.

The ideas may sound like part of a progressive platform. But they are from an influential group of conservative intellectuals with a direct line to elected politicians. They hope to represent the future of a post-Trump Republican Party — if only, they say, their fellow travelers would abandon Reaganomics once and for all.

These conservatives generally oppose abortion rights. They’re eager to promote marriage, worried about the nation’s declining fertility rate and often resist the trans rights movement.

But they also acknowledge that with abortion now illegal or tightly restricted in half the states, more babies will be born to parents struggling to pay for the basics — rent, health care, groceries and child care — when prices are high and child care slots scarce.

“A full-spectrum family policy has to be about encouraging and supporting people in getting married and starting families,” said Oren Cass, executive director of the American Compass think tank. “It has to be pro-life, but also supportive of those families as they are trying to raise kids in an economic environment where that has become a lot harder to do.”

The idea of spending heavily on family benefits remains an outlier within the Republican Party, which only recently rejected Democrats’ attempts to extend pandemic-era child tax credits.

But a number of conservative members of Congress have embraced new benefits for parents, including Mr. Cass’s former boss, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, as well as the senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Josh Hawley of Missouri and J.D. Vance of Ohio.

And in President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, he called on Republicans to join him in providing families with child care, paid leave, child tax credits and affordable housing.

Continue reading at The New York Times
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