On Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” White House adviser to the president and first daughter Ivanka Trump said her father President Donald Trump could “definitely” support a Democratic-led bill on family leave.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: Now you have found an area of agreement with Speaker Pelosi, who championed paid family leave. You worked to get Republicans on board with what just ended up in the NDAA, which is to guarantee government workers 12 weeks of paid leave.
TRUMP: This has been years of discussion and education on the- the merits of paid family leave grounded in conservative values of work and of family. And the reality is, the world has- has changed, and it’s changed quickly. Today, women make up 47 percent of the workforce. Yet we provide the vast majority of unpaid care for children and- and, of course, adult dependents. And it is not acceptable that in America today, one in four women go back to work two weeks after having a child. It’s just not acceptable. We can’t tell the private sector to step up and to offer these critical benefits to their employees and not be willing to do it ourselves. And it’s taken time. It’s been the course of two and a half years of building our coalitions of support for this policy. But we have made more progress on paid family leave than in the 25 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act was passed. So you not only have this, and this is huge, it’s a huge step forward in- in providing paid leave to all Americans, which is our ultimate objective. But we also, as part of tax reform, approved the first-ever tax credit to employers offering leave to their employees making under seventy-two thousand dollars a year, which are the people that are very, very unlikely to receive it — so incentivizing employers to- to step forward.
BRENNAN: How did you get the Republican caucus to support these things? Because there has been Republican opposition to any kind of government mandate.
TRUMP: This is been, as I said, the accumulation of several years of- of discussion. When I first came to Washington, I was surprised at how few Democrats had taken their argument for the merit of paid leave to their colleagues across the aisle. So it really was starting from the beginning and talking about this policy and framing it in different terms. So Republicans didn’t want a payroll tax increase that disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable. So what are new solutions? We proposed the first-ever bipartisan, bicameral plan that would allow people the flexibility to determine if they want to pull back- pull forward their child tax credit and then pay it back over 10 years. And by the way, paying it back over 10 years, they’d still receive an annual distribution that is dramatically higher than what they received prior to us passing tax reform.
BRENNAN: Are you, though, just to clarify that- are you endorsing any of those bills?
TRUMP: So the way I have approached this from inception is the president has made very clear he thinks that this is critical policy. And now, we are working with members on both sides of the aisle to see who has the right policy to move forward and to be able to garner the votes to pass this into law. I think what’s happening–
BRENNAN: And that could be a Democratic lead bill–
BRENNAN: –but you would still support it?
TRUMP: It could be. It definitely could be. I think the- the option that has been put out there by the Democrats without even opining on- on- on the policy of it, it has sat there since 2012, has never been scored, has never received the endorsement of a president, including President Obama, and has never received bipartisan support from colleagues in the Senate. So the way I look at it is that the debate had grown stale. If we want to deliver relief to working parents who need this, we need to come up with new, fresh solutions. So we’ve been working with Republicans, with Democrats on proposing alternatives. And what has become incredible is that people aren’t debating anymore whether or not paid family leave is good policy. They’re debating what’s the best policy.
BRENNAN: But what did just become law, just to clarify for people who don’t follow this the way- the way you do and what was tucked inside the NDAA, is 12 weeks of leave for people who either gave birth or- a woman or her partner, male or female, or if they adopted–
TRUMP: Adoptive parent–
BRENNAN: –Or a foster–
BRENNAN: –caregiver. And with that, though, this was tucked inside in a way that some Republican senators said they didn’t get to fully vet this. And they have highlighted some flaws in it that the FAA or the TSA or people who work at the V.A., the veterans’ agencies, won’t receive full benefits. Can you guarantee for all government workers that that will be fixed that they will all receive twelve weeks?
TRUMP: The TSA is a flaw that applies to basically every benefit that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been working to fix. So it’s not specific to this particular benefit. This applies to the full federal workforce, understanding that- that is a meaningful glitch that has applied to many many things, for many many years and that we’re working to- to fix.
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