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Trump’s Paid Family Leave Plan Moves Forward in Senate

But is that a good thing?

Flickr Creative Commons

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised that he would implement a paid family leave policy for all American workers. Once becoming president, he passed the project to his Ivanka.  Now, after what feels like months lost in the wash of border wall talk and the Muslim ban, her paid family leave plan is finally moving forward in the Senate with a scheduled committee hearing.

According to Axios, Ivanka will testify before the Senate Committee on Finance on July 11th. She’ll be joined by Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, both strong proponents of paid family leave legislation.

“Providing a national guaranteed paid-leave program — with a reasonable time limit and benefit cap — isn’t an entitlement, it’s an investment in America’s working families,” Ivanka wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year. Currently, the law mandates that employers with more than 50 employees — or about 60 percent of American companies — provide some kind of family leave.

Even though there is support for the initiative on both sides of the aisle, getting a majority of Republicans to vote in favor of the bill will be hard. One of the issues that initially stalled the initiative was that no one knows exactly how it’s going to be paid for, and it’s unlikely that GOP legislators would vote either to raise taxes or require employers or pay for any plan. Reportedly, Ivanka will offer a solution to the funding problem. She’s going to propose that employees be given the option to subtract the cost of family leave from their Social Security.

So, rather than expand the mandate for employers, the US government would ask people to leverage their Social Security. Doesn’t seem too fair, especially when you consider what people use their leave for — to spend time with sick or newborn children, or to care for family members who can’t take care of themselves. Families shouldn’t have to sacrifice their ability to retire just to do that.