When Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah proposed his Family Security Act (FSA) last February, he was met mainly with silence or criticism within the Republican Party. The proposal called for paying families an unconditional cash benefit of $250 to $350 per child per month ($3,000 to $4,200 per year), which Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah characterized as “universal basic income” and “welfare assistance.” No member of Congress signed on.

But Romney did succeed in triggering a vital debate among conservatives about how best to support families with public policy, prompting a range of events and proposals. And since the leaked Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization made clear that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned, the question of how public policy can better support expectant and new mothers has become a top priority.

Now, Romney has partnered with Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Richard Burr of North Carolina, both rock-ribbed conservatives, to release a Family Security Act 2.0 that appears to have squared the circle. A wide range of conservative groups and experts are lending their endorsements, spanning the business-focused American Enterprise Institute, the socially conservative Ethics & Public Policy Center and anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life.

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Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
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