Dave McCormick implements family-oriented policies while racing against Bob Casey

U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick announced Wednesday that he did proposing a $15,000 tax credit for infertility treatment and vowing to oppose any restrictions on such treatment.

Addressing a largely Republican gathering in Delaware County, McCormick sought to present himself as a common-sense, pro-family Republican who could successfully support a myriad of policies, from child care to social media.

Just days after appearing alongside former President Donald Trump at a rally in Philadelphia McCormick promised to focus on “solving problems over ideology,” appealing to voters in Delaware County, where the electorate he has moved to the left since Trump’s election in 2016 and will be key to McCormick’s race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and in the presidential election.

“I think any candidate who stands up for family will resonate very, very well in Delaware County because that’s what Delaware County is all about,” said Frank Agovino, chairman of the county’s Republican Party.

McCormick’s up-to-date “pro-family” agenda comes two years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision invalidating a constitutional right to abortion – a ruling that the Pennsylvania Democratic Party was quick to point to in response to McCormick’s up-to-date agenda.

“Two years ago, David McCormick celebrated the Supreme Court decision that took away women’s right to make personal decisions about their bodies. In the Senate,” said TaNisha Cameron, a party spokeswoman. “McCormick would be a voice for a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions for rape and incest — and that’s why Pennsylvania voters will reject him in November.”

McCormick said during his first term in the Senate in 2022 she supported the abortion ban unless the mother’s life is in danger. Now his – says the campaign website opposes a nationwide abortion ban and supports exceptions for rape, incest and maternal life.

Republicans have struggled to effectively communicate reproductive rights over the past two years as voters repeatedly expressed support for abortion rights and state-level actions across the country raised concerns about access to infertility treatment and contraceptives.

McCormick, speaking to a crowd of GOP activists and potential voters Wednesday, focused on policies that don’t directly address abortion rights but aim to lend a hand those who want or already have children.

“I will fight for every family in our community at every stage of life,” McCormick said. “We need a leader who will bring real change.”

Here are three key elements of his program:

Tax relief for in vitro fertilization

McCormick is proposing a $15,000 refundable tax credit for infertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, and has vowed to oppose any legislative efforts to restrict such treatments.

He said he would try to make the tax credit available to families twice a year, meaning families could qualify for $30,000 a year, making high-priced fertility treatments more readily available to people trying to have children.

“I can’t imagine a better pro-family, pro-woman and pro-business policy than this,” he said.

In vitro fertilization became a national political issue earlier this year after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos are children and in vitro fertilization procedures were temporarily halted in the state. Democrats took up this issue and identified Republicans as opponents of in vitro fertilization, pointing to the decision in Alabama as a consequence of the invalidation Roe v. Wade and a warning that similar scenarios may occur in other states. McCormick’s tax credit proposal reflects a continued effort by GOP candidates to position themselves as supportive of infertility treatment in airy of these criticisms.

McCormick too said Wednesday that he would propose making the existing federal adoption tax credit fully refundable and boost the popular federal child tax credit.

Scholarships for private schools

Citing concerns about low test scores in Pennsylvania schools, McCormick proposed establishing a federal tax credit for donations to organizations that provide scholarships to private schools.

Harrisburg lawmakers have already allocated more than $470 million a year to two tax relief programs. They are also considering whether to create a school voucher program that would send funds directly to families in low-performing districts as part of this year’s budget, which is due June 30.

Democrats largely oppose vouchers and are critical of existing tax credit programs for private school scholarships due to concerns about losses in equity and funding for public schools.

McCormick’s proposal would not directly award vouchers to students, but would boost funding for organizations that provide scholarships to private schools by allowing taxpayers to deduct donations to such groups from their federal taxes.

McCormick said virtual schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic has made many parents realize they are dissatisfied with the curriculum at their child’s school. These scholarships, he said, give them a chance while also creating competition between schools.

“This rivalry is going to be great for everyone, but it’s going to be fucking destructive. And that’s how it has to be,” he said.

Ban children from using social media

Comparing the risks that social media can pose to juvenile people with those associated with alcohol and cigarettes, McCormick proposed banning the utilize of social networking sites for those under 16. He did not outline how such a ban would be enforced.

McCormick said social media has reached the point where it poses an unacceptably high risk to minors in the form of cyberbullying, fraud, pornography and online predators.

He said that just as the government sets an age for access to alcohol and tobacco products, it should set an upper age for access to these sites.

“Involving the government in regulating access to information is a risky approach, but I think we have reached a tipping point,” he said.

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