Some have argued that First Daughter Ivanka Trump is her father’s Jiminy Cricket.
She is credited with mollifying her father’s notoriously volatile temper, and convincing him to take more humane stances on issues from the environment to immigration.
At the 2016 Republican convention, Ivanka expressed her support for paid maternity leave legislation, traditionally a Democratic position.
So she has now partnered with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to craft it.
Rubio said in a Politico interview:
“We still have to work on members of my own party. 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.”
But before we go assuming Republicans are about to take their queue from Bernie Sanders, let’s consider details.
About Rubio’s plan, Politico reports:
“Rubio has barely started crafting a paid leave bill, much less a broader legislative strategy. But he envisions an idea that has recently gained traction in conservative circles: allowing people to draw Social Security benefits when they want to take time off for a new baby or other family-related matters, and then delay their checks when they hit retirement age.
“For instance, a person who would begin receiving full benefits when he or she turns 67 years old but wants to take six weeks of paid leave wouldn’t draw Social Security checks until six weeks after his or her 67th birthday.”
Rubio, who voted for the recent GOP tax overhaul (before admitting it goes too far), wants working-class and middle-class Americans to make a choice between retiring sooner or taking time off for childbirth and raising their children, delaying their Social Security checks when they reach retirement age.
For example, an individual expecting to receive full Social Security benefits at age 67 may do so as long as he or she has not taken any family leave time. If he or she has taken time, that individual must subtract the time off from the time benefits are projected to begin.
Rubio argues this plan would benefit lower-income Americans since they are less likely to work for companies offering paid family leave.
He also disputes the typically Libertarian free-market position that businesses will eventually provide leave because employees demand it.
“Frankly, there’s no evidence that’s the case anywhere, particularly down into the $20,000, $30,000, $35,000 range.”
Ivanka Trump and Sen. Rubio have been exchanging emails, and, according to multiple senior GOP sources, has been discussing options with multiple other lawmakers, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
A White House official confirmed one option Trump was presented was raising payroll taxes or carving out a new, personal paid leave fund within Social Security.
The unnamed official said:
“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. We are committed to it, and the priority now is to continue to build a coalition.”
In addition to her talking about it at the 2016 RNC convention, Ivanka Trump has submitted letters to The Wall Street Journal arguing how a paid family leave plan would benefit the nation.
She is right about that.
But anything that picks away at Social Security is another Republican ploy.
Image credit: businessinsider.nl