Virginia GOP lawmaker says stay-at-home mothers aren't really 'working day to day'

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GOP state Sen. Bryce Reeves criticized Democratic opponent Amy Laufer, saying 'she's lucky enough to have her husband that provides all that stuff.'

Virginia state Sen. Bryce Reeves, a Republican representing a district east of Charlottesville who is currently running for reelection, does not consider what stay at home parents do all day to be "work."

"Last time I looked, my opponent's not working day to day," Reeves said about Democratic nominee Amy Laufer.

Laufer, who lists "stay at home mom" as her occupation on her financial disclosure forms, is raising a daughter and two sons between the ages of 11 and 14.

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Laufer is a former teacher who decided to stay home after one of her children was born with a major medical condition.

"She stays at home, and she's lucky enough to have her husband that provides all that stuff," Reeves continued. "But I'm working every day. And I work hard for the money that we earn."

Reeves made the statements during an Oct. 21 interview on the "Joe Thomas in the Morning" radio program, after being asked about tax policy. The comments were first unearthed by American Bridge, a liberal research organization.

On his campaign website, Reeves says he "believes family and faith are the foundation of every community."

Laufer shot back in a statement on Monday.

"Women who choose to stay home with their children are working hard everyday to support their families," she said in an email, in response to Reeve's comments. "We are putting food on the table and supporting our children. It is a shame that we have an elected official who doesn't respect that labor."

Reeves has come under fire for making sexist comments in the past.

In December 2012, the state lawmaker voiced his support for SB 484, an anti-abortion piece of legislation that would have required women to undergo an invasive, transvaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion. Language requiring transvaginal ultrasounds was later scrapped from the bill, and the revised legislation ended up stalled in the state Senate.

"This bill, transvaginal ultrasound bill, of which I got to tell you, I think helps women make a logical, rational decision," Reeves said at the time, "if you look at Planned Parenthood, they do them already, anyway."

Reeves also came under fire earlier this year for suggesting his Democratic colleague was a negative influence on the state legislature because he was gay.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, during a town hall meeting in June, Reeves "rattled off negatives" about state Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, including saying Ebbin wanted to "radically change Virginia," is "really liberal," and "he's one of the openly gay, uh, senators in our, uh, Senate."

Reeves, like all 40 members of the state Senate and all 100 members of the House of Delegates, is up for reelection on Nov. 5. At the moment, Republicans hold a slight lead in each chamber, but Democrats hope to take control after the election.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.