The Federal Election Commission on Thursday gave a woman candidate running for Congress the green light to use portions of her campaign funds to pay for child care.
Liuba Grechen Shirley, a New York mother of two young children running for Congress on Long Island, pays $22 an hour for a babysitter to take care of her toddlers for about 20 hours per week.
Last month she petitioned the FEC asking for permission to use campaign funds to pay for child care, citing two cases from 1995 and 2008 where male candidates asked to use campaign funds to pay for certain child care expenses in more limited circumstances.
…The FEC’s ruling applies to future candidates who, like Grechen Shirley, incur child care costs as a result of running for office.
“The Commission concludes that your authorized campaign committee may use campaign funds to pay for the childcare expenses described in your request because such expenses would not exist irrespective of your candidacy,” the FEC wrote in its ruling.
…Grechen Shirley said she hopes Thursday’s ruling will inspire more women to run for public office.
“We need people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said. “We desperately need working women in Congress.”