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No dad jokes here: Newly launched Congressional Dads Caucus to focus on policies for working families

"Dads need to do our part, both at home and in the halls of Congress," said Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., one of the group's co-founders.
From left, Democratic Reps. Andy Kim, Dan Goldman, Jimmy Gomez and Rashida Tlaib announce the Congressional Dads Caucus on Jan. 26, 2023.
Reps. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif.; Andy Kim, D-N.J., left; Dan Goldman, D-N.Y.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., announce the Congressional Dads Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images file

A group of House Democrats announced Thursday they were forming the Congressional Dads Caucus to focus on family issues.

The group is the brainchild of Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., who said the caucus “is rooted in a simple idea: Dads need to do our part advancing policies that will make a difference in the lives of so many working families across the country.”

Gomez, who famously brought his now-5-month-old son, Hodge, with him onto the House floor for what turned out to be a long day of voting for a new speaker this month, said the caucus will champion policies such as paid family and medical leave and expanding the Child Tax Credit.

When he voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., in the speaker's race this month, Gomez said, “On behalf of my son, Hodge, and all the working families who need an expanded child tax credit, I cast my vote for Hakeem Jeffries.”

Jimmy Gomez with his son, Hodge, at the U.S. Capitol
Jimmy Gomez with his son, Hodge, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 3.Alex Brandon / AP

Standing alongside other members of the caucus Thursday, Gomez told reporters that the speaker's vote, which Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., eventually won, "brought visibility to the role of working dads across the country, but it also shined a light on the double standard that exists."

"Why am I, a father, getting praised for doing what mothers do every single day, which is care for their children?" he asked.

The lawmaker dads were joined at the news conference by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a member of the Moms in the House Caucus.

Another member of the Congressional Dads Caucus, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., said all those issues became more real to him when he became a father. "I decided to run for Congress because I became a dad, and all of a sudden these issues that I wasn’t as worried about or focused on when I was doing foreign policy, all of a sudden they became very real, about health care, about child care about, about every aspect of our lives," he said.

Other members of the caucus include Reps. Dan Goldman and Jamaal Bowman of New York, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Joaquin Castro of Texas.