March 03, 2017
In his speech to Congress this week, President Trump pledged, "My administration wants to work with members of both parties... to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave," reaffirming his support for federal legislation on the issue. Following President Trump's nomination speech last July, his campaign published a proposal to "guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave by amending the existing unemployment insurance that companies are required to carry." According to the proposal, "The benefit would apply only when employers don't offer paid maternity leave, and would be paid for by offsetting reductions in the program so that taxes are not raised." The President's verbiage Tuesday, however, may indicate his platform has evolved to include paternity leave as well. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, who does not have a formal role with the Administration but has proved to be a formidable voice within it, has reportedly been involved in efforts to include a paid family leave measure in Congressional comprehensive tax reform efforts, which would be a germane vehicle for changes to the tax-based unemployment insurance system. The presidential endorsement comes as seventeen states and the District of Columbia have had paid family leave bills introduced in their respective legislatures thus far in 2017.