During debate over the COVID-19 stimulus package on the U.S. House floor Wednesday, Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wisconsin, said the Black Lives Matter movement "doesn't like the old-fashioned family" — a statement that drew ire from the Democratic delegate representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Stacey Plaskett.
Grothman took to the floor to argue that the increase in the earned income tax credit for single people in the stimulus package penalized married couples.
He said he brought the issue up because he knows "the strength that Black Lives Matter had in this last election."
"I know it's a group that it doesn't like the old-fashioned family. Disturbed that we have another program here in which we're increasing the marriage penalty," Grothman said.
Grothman's statement brought a rebuke from Plaskett, who followed Grothman in debate.
"How dare you, how dare you say that Black Lives Matter, Black people, do not understand old-fashioned families," Plaskett said. "Despite some of the issues, some of the things you have put forward that I heard out of your mouth in the oversight committee, in your own district, we have been able to keep our families alive for over 400 years. And the assault on our families to not have Black lives or not even have Black families."
Grothman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after the House vote that Plaskett misrepresented his remarks. Grothman said that he was referring to the Black Lives Matter organization "and its Marxist founders."
Grothman told the newspaper that he equated the power of Black Lives Matter and in his view their opposition to the nuclear family, with the stimulus bill which, in his view, penalizes people for getting married.
PolitiFact reported last August that Black Lives Matter stated their view on the "nuclear family" on their website. The specific page has since been removed, but it appears this is the source of criticism from some conservative circles:
"We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."
"We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work."
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, threw in her two cents, tweeting soon after that "systemic racism is real. Even on the floor of Congress."
The House of Representatives passed a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package in a vote of 220 to 211. The package now heads to President Joe Biden's desk, which he is expected to sign on Friday.
This story was originally published by Jackson Danbeck on WTMJ in Milwaukee.