Women and Families

As a single working mom, Congresswoman Porter is acutely aware of the challenges Orange County families face in balancing work and family.

Congresswoman Porter understands that strong family policy is strong economic policy. Recognizing that childcare is essential infrastructure, she has been a fierce advocate for making childcare more affordable and easier to get, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. One of the first bills she introduced, the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, was legislation to double the amount of money families can set aside pre-tax to pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult care. She prioritized reintroducing the legislation early on in her second term to help address the need for childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. She also introduced the Support Working Families Act, which would make it easier for parents serving as caregivers to get relief if their kids can’t go to school or a childcare facility because of the pandemic. 

Congresswoman Porter also introduced the bipartisan FAIR Leave Act, which addresses one of the shortcomings of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The bill closes a loophole in federal family leave policy and enables eligible spouses working for the same employer to each take up to 12 work weeks (24 total) of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for the birth of a son or daughter, the adoption of a child, or the care of a parent with a serious health condition.

Understanding that being a new mom is never easy, Congresswoman Porter has fought for a maternal mental health hotline to help struggling mothers. She also introduced bipartisan legislation to protect new parents from surprise medical bills by simplifying the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage.

Alarmed by reports that women, especially women of color, are being forced out of the workforce during the pandemic, Congresswoman Porter’s office dove into the data and produced a comprehensive report on what is happening, and how we can fix it. Congresswoman Porter cites investing in childcare and paid leave, as well as equipping our schools and childcare centers with the tools they need to reopen safely. She also pushed for Congress to remove a single parent penalty from the COVID relief bill, as 4 in 5 single parents are women.

Protecting and empowering survivors of domestic violence is an issue personal to Congresswoman Porter. She shared her story as a survivor in advocating for the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She fought for an amendment to gun violence prevention legislation that would require a report on the effect of firearm possession in domestic violence incidents. Congresswoman Porter has also successfully secured bipartisan support for a program to assist victims of domestic violence to safely shelter their pets when they leave their abusers. Congresswoman Porter held a roundtable in Orange County with advocates, law enforcement, and healthcare providers to discuss resources, opportunities, and challenges facing those caring for survivors of domestic violence in CA-45.

Understanding the devastation that domestic violence can have on children, Congresswoman Porter advocated for additional funding for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, which successfully passed the House. This program recruits and trains volunteers who advocate on behalf of child survivors of abuse, neglect, and abandonment in courtrooms and other settings.