Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump said this week that one of the next items on the Trump administration’s agenda is paid family leave — which, if accurate, would be a sign of the continued influence of Ivanka on the White House agenda.
“Coming into the new year, you will hopefully see it in a national paid family leave program that we’re working hard to build coalitions of support for,” Trump said at a panel on workforce development in India, according to the Daily Mail.
Ivanka has made paid family leave one of her main agenda items and delivered the comments at a Global Entrepreneurship Summit on Wednesday, focusing on women in business. In her remarks, she noted that a version of the proposal was in President Trump’s first White House budget.
According to the Mail, that proposal would have used state unemployment programs to distribute funds to eligible Americans — with a cost of $25 billion over ten years.
To what extent the coalition building in Congress will succeed is far from clear. The idea is likely to find significantly more support among Democrats in Congress than other items on the Trump agenda and may struggle with some of the more fiscally minded Republicans, who are typically wary of government interference in business or anything that smells of a new entitlement.
While Democrats would typically be more supportive, partisanship may lead Democrats to oppose the proposal outright or make additional demands that may render the package toxic to Republicans — such as a tax hike to pay for it. However, the Mail reports that a past proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) of a nonrefundable 25 percent tax credit for businesses that offer four to twelve weeks of paid leave has met with Ivanka’s approval, signaling that there could be some Republican support from fiscal conservatives.
According to the Mail, senior Republican congressional aides were not aware of such plans, with one source expressing surprise that the family leave program was going to be a top priority for the administration.
But whatever the form of the bill, Ivanka called for a fundamental change in America’s institutions: “[They] were not set up with the assumption that there would be two parents in the workforce, so we just have to fundamentally change things,” she said.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.