House Democrats Recruit Ivanka Trump for Help With Bill to Expand Paid Family Leave

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. U.S. officials are developing a new, pink commemorative coin to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research, said Maloney, who sponsored legislation for its creation. The New York Democrat tells The Associated Press that federal …
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she’s seeking Ivanka Trump’s help to get support for her Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, which would provide six weeks of guaranteed paid leave to all male and female federal employees after the birth, adoption or fostering of a child.

“I did call her; I did send her a copy of the legislation,” Maloney said Monday during a press conference outside the Capitol, according to the Hill. “She said she was interested in meeting with us and talking to us about it.” She added, “I did reach out to her and [I hope] we have an opportunity to speak and explore it more.”

Maloney’s bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

Trump, a mother of three and successful business owner, has long advocated for expanding maternal benefits in the workplace. As the Hill notes, she even used her platform at the Republican National Convention last summer to promote the issue. Her father, President Donald Trump has also advocated for paid family leave for new mothers.

However, Maloney’s bill and Trump’s plan have two significant differences. While Trump’s plan would reportedly exclude fathers, it is far more expansive in that it would benefit all new, working mothers. The Hill points out that while Maloney’s bill would provide paid leave to moms and dads, it only applies to federal employees.

The U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows mothers who work at companies with at least 50 employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
In April 2016, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to require employers to offer new parents — both male and female — with six weeks of fully paid leave and “unlimited” maternity or paternity leave for the first year after a child’s birth.

Democratic whip Rep Steny Hoyer (D-MD) reportedly said he’s banking on the hope that Ivanka will be able to influence the president. “We’re optimistic her father will reach common ground with her,” Hoyer said, according to the Hill.

On Monday, Ivanka attended and participated in her first White House policy meeting with her father, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of the newly-formed United States Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders and Female Entrepreneurs to discuss ways to confront the challenges facing women in the workforce in the United States and Canada.

“I’m honored to be here and really looking forward to hearing from each of you who serve as tremendous role models for me and so many other business leaders across both of our countries, and can lend some tremendously valuable perspective as we think about the unique challenges that entrepreneurs, women in the workforce, female small business owners are confronted with each and every day, and as we think how we level the playing field for this generation and for the next,” Ivanka said.

Among the group of female executives who make up the task force was TransAlta Corp. CEO Dawn Farrell, president of the International Co-operative Alliance Monique Leroux, T&T Supermarket Inc. CEO Tina Lee, Carol Stephenson who serves on the board of General Motors, Linamar Corp. CEO Linda Hasenfratz, and General Electric Canada CEO Elyse Allan.

“We need policies that held to keep women in the workforce and to address the unique barriers faced by female entrepreneurs,” Trump said during the meeting. He added the need to make it easier for women to “manage the demands of having both a job and a family and we also need to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to gain access to capital. And I guess all entrepreneurs, we have to help them out.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz