Back in September, President Trump campaigned on a paid family leave policy. It boasted 6 weeks of maternity leave for mothers — 3 times what conservatives were proposing at the time — and nothing for fathers. The issue was overshadowed by all the other recent White House business. But now it’s being pushed to the fore by Ivanka Trump and may include dads this time.
As the New York Times reported, the Trump administration is considering a policy that would include both biological and adoptive fathers. The strategy for financing it is vague, but might involve a tax increase or “another option to be determined by congress.”
In either case, the price tag is high: family leave was just a part of Ivanka’s original $500 billion childcare plan. It was supposed to be funded by savings from the unemployment insurance programs, but Democrats and Republicans found that plan to be too limited and uncertain. So some skepticism about the administration’s ability to follow through on a paternity leave policy is understandable. After all, they’re only contemplating it.
If Trump did pass a comprehensive paid family leave policy, that’d be one way to reach across the aisle to Democrats and confuse the hell out of everyone. Although it would be a welcomed confusion considering that next to Papua New Guinea the U.S. still has one of the worst family leave policies in the world.
Critics argue that Ivanka’s plans could disproportionately benefit wealthy families. But the fact that family leave is a part of the national conversation when it could easily be eclipsed by education, healthcare, and Russia is some progress. Here’s to hoping Ivanka is the Trump card for parents.
[H/T] New York Times