President Calls for Congress to Pass Paid Leave and Lower Drug Prices

February 07, 2020

Amid the partisan divide on display at the State of the Union address, paid family leave and legislation to reduce drug prices emerged as the bipartisan highlights.

President Trump gave a hat tip to a new paid leave law granting federal workers a 12-week family paid leave benefit that could serve “as a model for the rest of the country.”

The President called on Congress to “pass the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across our nation.”  Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Kyrsten Sinema's (D-AZ) bill would allow new parents to take a $5,000 advance on their child care tax credit.  Low-income parents, who pay less in taxes and are not eligible for the full child care tax credit, would be able to receive 12 weeks leave with full wage replacement in exchange for a smaller reduction to their taxes over 15 years.

President Trump also called on Congress to lower prescription drug prices by ending “the problem of global freeloading” and increasing price transparency.  “Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay,” Trump said.  The President called out Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) and Sen. Ron Wyden's (D-OR) bipartisan drug pricing bill (S. 2543) but stopped short of a full endorsement.

HR Policy Association continues to encourage policymakers to reduce drug prices by increasing competition and transparency, and to consider a paid leave bill that preempts state law.