Idaho Republican slammed for opposing federal education grant because it encourages mothers to 'come out of the home'

Idaho Republican slammed for opposing federal education grant because it encourages mothers to 'come out of the home'

In Idaho, the GOP-dominated state legislature has rejected a $6 million federal grant designed to improve early childhood education. And one Republican culture warrior who has been applauding that decision is Rep. Charlie Shepherd, who serves in the Idaho House of Representatives and believes the grant would hurt "the family unit."

"I don't think anybody does a better job than mothers in the home, and any bill that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child — I don't think that's a good direction for us to be going," Shepherd said.

Another Republican social conservative in the Iowa House who views the bill as anti-family is Rep. Tammy Nichols, who said, "The goal in the long run is to be able to take our children from birth and be able to start indoctrinating them, and teaching them to be activists, and to do the things — that we feel as parents and as people coming from a conservatively known state — are inappropriate."

Idaho is one of the most Republican states in the U.S. Although President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, he lost to former President Donald Trump by 30% in Idaho. The state has a Republican governor, Brad Little, and Republicans control its legislature. But Idaho's Democratic minority has been outspoken against the state's decision to reject the federal education grant.

On March 3, demonstrators gathered outside the Idaho Statehouse in Boise to urge Republicans to reconsider and accept the grant. One of them held a sign that read, "Who let the moms out?" And Shepherd, who is being lambasted for his sexist comment, apologized on the Idaho House floor — saying, "I realize how my remarks sounded derogatory, offensive and even sexist toward the mothers of this state. I in no way meant to insinuate that mothers that work outside the home were at any fault in any way. I in no way think the father has any less responsibility or should play any less role than the mother in raising their children."

Hannah Sharp, a Boise-based mother, has slammed Idaho Republicans for "leaving $6 million on the table" and has denounced Shepherd's comment as "incredibly offensive." And according to Associated Press reporter Rebecca Boone, Sharp is not impressed with Shepherd's apology.

The Boise resident told AP, "He apologized for the words he used but not the sentiment behind it. It doesn't take away the fact that he believes that women belong only at home, and it's incredibly insensitive to women who work out of the home out of financial necessity to support their families. I'm hoping part of his apology will be to come out and support the bill now."

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