Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened the White House press briefing on Wednesday by telling reporters about her own experience as a working mother, noting that she is the first mother to have the job.
“That says less about me than it does about this president,” she said. “Empowering working moms is the heart of the president’s agenda, particularly when it comes to things like tax reform.”
Sanders added that her oldest child, a daughter named Scarlett, will begin kindergarten within weeks.
“Scarlett and every little girl in America should grow up in a country that – if we deliver on the president’s agenda better jobs, better healthcare, and a better tax system – incentivizes women to work and raise children,” Sanders said.
“As a working mom, it’s not lost on me what a great honor and privilege it is to stand here at the podium.”
Yet critics of President Donald Trump, such as the left-leaning Center for American Progress, have pointed out in the past that his policies could dramatically roll back certain gains working mothers have made in recent years.
Repealing or repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, for instance, could raise the uninsured rate among mothers. That rate had fallen to 13.6% from 17.4% in 2014 under the law, commonly called Obamacare, and had a particularly significant effect in states that opted for the Medicaid expansion, according to a 2016 Urban Institute study.
Only two other women have held the title of White House press secretary – Dana Perino under President George W. Bush, and Dee Dee Myers under President Bill Clinton. Neither had kids while they were in the role.