Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement Monday that President Donald Trump’s support for a bipartisan paid family leave proposal will help America’s new parents and children.
A report released Friday revealed that the White House supports a bipartisan proposal sponsored by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Bill Cassidy, otherwise known as the Cassidy-Sinema plan, and that Trump will push for paid family leave during his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday.
One White House official said that the president’s address stated, “we are making progress, so let’s keep moving forward. The federal government has set the example.”
The Cassidy-Sinema paid family leave proposal would give new parents the option to bring forward their Child Tax Credit (CTC) to receive a $5,000 paid leave benefit. The Cassidy-Sinema plan would provide new parents the flexibility to cover costs after having or adopting a child. Reps. Colin Allred (D-TX) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) are leading the paid family leave effort in the House.
Sen. Cassidy, a doctor, said that he thought the White House support for the Cassidy-Sinema plan will help advance the proposal through Congress.
“Republicans and Democrats both agree that our country needs a paid family leave policy. President Trump will highlight this need and the bipartisan, bicameral solution that Sen. Sinema and I are offering. The President’s support moves us closer to passing this bill for the benefit of America’s new parents and children,” the Louisiana conservative told Breitbart News.
Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and a senior adviser to the president, recently hosted a paid family leave summit. President Trump spoke during the summit and called on Congress to continue working on the issue.
“It’s time to pass paid family leave and expand access to quality,” the president said.
The president has moved to expand paid family leave for military service members. Last December, he signed a defense bill that would allow for federal civilian employees.
“After years of unrealized promises by other politicians, I honor my commitment today as I sign paid parental leave for the federal civilian workforce. That’s paid, into law,” Trump said in December.
Paid family leave serves as a rising issue for Republicans. President Trump announced during his State of the Union address that he will work to implement a paid family leave plan. White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump continues to work with Republicans across the spectrum on the issue.
Paid family leave offers an opportunity for the United States to lead on the issue, as America is the only Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nation without access to paid parental leave and suffers the highest infant mortality rate compared to other OECD countries.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tapped Cassidy, one of the Senate’s foremost experts on health care, to co-chair a bipartisan working group on the issue.
Sen. Cassidy told Breitbart News during a press conference last June that President Trump has been the “ultimate force” behind Republicans embracing “kitchen-table” issues such as drug pricing, the opioid epidemic, and paid family leave.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.