As Sen. Marco Rubio gets ready to introduce new paid family leave legislation, Ivanka Trump — who has fashioned herself into a champion of the cause — says her ideal plan is more ambitious than what Republicans have proposed.
In a nutshell, the Republicans have put forth a rather limited plan when it comes to addressing the fact that the U.S. is the only industrialized country not to provide a federal paid leave policy. Sen. Rubio and other Republicans back a proposal, released by the conservative Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) earlier this year, that allows for 12 weeks paid leave, amounting to about 45% of the average worker’s wages. It stops at new parents, including adoptive ones, and would be paid for by dipping into your Social Security benefits, two heavily criticized features.
The Democrats think this plan doesn’t go far enough and are dubious about its funding source — and Ivanka Trump, first daughter and adviser to the president, seems to agree with them on at least one of those points, although she ultimately stands behind a more pared-down plan.
“My preference is to go beyond parental leave,” Ivanka told Refinery29 as she glided through the hallway of the Dirksen Senate Office Building after Wednesday’s hearing on paid family leave, held in front of a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Finance. “But…right now we are at zero weeks of paid leave. We don’t have parental, we don’t have caregiving. So we have to move off that mark — it’s been 25 years since FMLA was passed.”
My preference is to go beyond parental leave. But…right now we are at zero weeks of paid leave. We don’t have parental, we don’t have caregiving.
FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act), passed in 1993, allows workers 12 weeks of leave to take care of a child or sick relative, although only about 60% of all employees are eligible for it since it only applies to companies with over 50 people and carries other restrictions. It’s also unpaid, which is the piece of the puzzle that puts us far behind other industrialized countries when it comes to paid leave. This often leaves workers having to make the tough decision between a job and their family, unable to spend time with a sick child or a dying parent because they need to take care of the bottom line.
Both Democrats and Republicans seem confident that …read more