Ivanka on the Hill to push paid family leave proposal

Ivanka Trump is making her debut on Capitol Hill today as a senior advisor to her father and her first act is a push for a paid family leave program in her father’s proposed budget.

The president’s daughter is attending a discussion organized by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that will look at paid leave and other proposals to benefit families.

Rubio is the co-sponsor of a bill in the Senate that would provide companies that voluntarily institute a leave policy with a tax credit. Trump wants to mandate six weeks of paid leave and pay for it with unemployment taxes.

Ivanka Trump is making her debut on Capitol Hill today as a senior advisor to her father and her first act is a push for a paid family leave program in her father's proposed budget.

Ivanka Trump is making her debut on Capitol Hill today as a senior advisor to her father and her first act is a push for a paid family leave program in her father's proposed budget.

Ivanka Trump is making her debut on Capitol Hill today as a senior advisor to her father and her first act is a push for a paid family leave program in her father’s proposed budget.

The president's daughter is attending a discussion organized by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that will look at paid leave and other proposals to benefit families

The president's daughter is attending a discussion organized by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that will look at paid leave and other proposals to benefit families

Rubio is the sponsor of a bill with Republican Sen. Deb Fischer (pictured) that would give tax credits to businesses with leave programs

Rubio is the sponsor of a bill with Republican Sen. Deb Fischer (pictured) that would give tax credits to businesses with leave programs

The president’s daughter is attending a discussion organized by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that will look at paid leave and other proposals to benefit families. Rubio is the sponsor of a bill with Republican Sen. Deb Fischer that would give tax credits to businesses with leave programs

Republicans have not embraced the $25 billion proposal the Trump administration included in the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget.

Ivanka will try to rally support for it in the Senate at the Rubio meeting that’s being attended by Sen. Deb Fischer, another sponsor of Strong Families Act, and at least seven other lawmakers. 

The legislation that Sen. Angus King, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has also signed on to offers a 25 percent nonrefundable tax credit to companies that offer four to 12 weeks of paid leave to new parents. 

Trump’s plan would require businesses to give employees who’ve just had a child, or adopted one, six weeks off.

The administration proposes to pay for the $25 billion price tag of the program over 10 years with unemployment taxes. The mandate would likely require a tax hike on businesses.

It gives the states broad latitude to implement the mandate, taking into account that states like California already have paid leave laws. California’s routes its claims through its disability insurance program.

A third plan that’s under discussion would reimburse employees for 70 percent of their lost wages over an eight-week period at a maximum rate of $600 a week. 

The compromise plan seeks to marry liberal proposals that ask for 12 weeks of time off for parenting crises and a conservative philosophy that opposes any additional financial burdens on businesses.

Put together by scholars at the free-market-based American Enterprise Institute and the liberal-leaning Brookings Institute, the plan relies on federal payroll taxes and gives states the freedom to provide more generous benefits if they choose to do so.

Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brooking who helped author of the plan, met with Ivanka at the White House two weeks ago. Sawhill said Trump was receptive to adopting a plan other than her own.

‘She said that was just a placeholder or a stake in the ground and they’re open to other ideas,’ Sawhill told the AP.

A White House official told AP then that Ivanka was soliciting the opinions of various groups and individuals who have been working on this issue inside and outside of the government.

‘I think we’re trying to help the same people,’ Rubio said of Ivanka’s plan to Politico last week. ‘I think there’s different ways to try to get there.’ 

Rubio’s plan also faces opposition. 

Aparna Mathur, the AEI scholar working on the paid leave program with Sawhill, told FiveThirtyEight in February that she was skeptical that companies would create paid leave programs just to get a tax benefit.

‘As with all tax-credit programs, at the margin it probably won’t get most employers to change,’ the economist said.

If companies wanted to offer a program, the evidence indicates they would already be doing it, she told the online news publication.  

Democrats would prefer a plan that goes further than what Trump, Rubio or the economic scholars have presented. They want paid leave for dependents who take time off work to care for their sick parents in addition to new parents.

They might be compelled to sign on to a more restricted plan as part of a broad budget that creates the building blocks for a more extensive program. And the president’s daughter, who is more liberal than her father, just might be the one to convince them.

Trump met with more than a dozen women lawmakers in the GOP last fall about the proposal during a summit at the Republican National Committee’s Washington headquarters. 

Her discussion today is with Rubio, Fischer, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, Rep. Dave Schweikert of Arizona and Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, a White House official said.

Legislators must approve a budget for the next fiscal year before the end of September.

 

 

 


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