On her father’s campaign trail, Ivanka Trump’s platform was focused on advocating for more pro-family programs.
Now she is teaming up with the former presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio to lobby for a national paid family leave program that Republicans can get behind.
“That’s a new idea for Republicans who still identify it as something that comes out of the left,” said Rubio to Politico. “Forcing companies to provide it is perhaps an idea that finds its genesis on the left, but the notion that pregnancy should not be a bankruptcy-eliciting event is one that I think all Americans should be supportive.”
One of the options allegedly being discussed that is different than the others that have been presented before would allow people to tap into their Social Security benefits early when they want to take time off for family leave, which would then delay their checks when they reach retirement.
However, Republicans are likely to resist any plan that either raises taxes or burdens employers to pay for the family leave.
“We still have to work on members of my own party,” Rubio said in an extended interview with Politico about the effort. “I think there will be significant initial resistance to it, because it’s just not an issue that’s been identified with the Republican Party.”
However, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea in his recent State of the Union address and Ivanka has been a leading proponent of this program.
“Rubio and Ivanka Trump have recently exchanged emails about paid family leave. And in his Senate office in late January, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) also privately pitched the concept to the president’s daughter, who gave it a warm reception, according to one person familiar with the meeting. Lee is a close ally of Rubio, and they jointly lobbied for expanding the child tax credit — an Ivanka-backed effort that prompted Rubio to nearly tank the tax bill in the final days of the overhaul. He ultimately voted for it,” writes Politico.
A paid leave Democrat bill, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is already on the table.
Allegedly, a few proposals have been presented to the Trump administration, which they seem open to.
Rubio’s paid leave program draft is still very much in the early stages.
“While we are pleasantly surprised by the progress we are making in generating conversation around the issue, we know how hard it is going to be and that for all the talk on the issue, nobody has been able to get it done before,” said a White House official to Politico. “We are committed to it, and the priority now is to continue to build a coalition.”
The GOP tax bill already offers a tax credit for businesses that offer employees paid leave, but Rubio believes that the additional paid leave bill would complement this tax-credit provision.
As part of Rubio’s recent pro-family campaign, Rubio argues that this will benefit families at all levels, but especially those with lower incomes.
For “people that I know and interact with, going two weeks without a paycheck is catastrophic,” said Rubio. “Imagine going two months or three months. … They gotta give you time under the law, but you don’t get paid. It’s just not a sustainable thing.”
Author’s note: This has been more of a Democratic issue, but we can see both sides. This could put more of a financial burden on business, but it would be great for families and children. We suspect several Republicans will be conflicted over this pro-family push.