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Ivanka Trump is ramping up paid family leave push with White House summit

Francesca Chambers, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

Several proposals have been introduced on Capitol Hill but Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on the mechanism for paid leave.

A bipartisan bill in the Senate sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona would reduce participating parents' annual child tax credit by $500 for 10 years to pay for the $5,000 benefit the legislation guarantees they will receive up front.

Cassidy and Sinema announced the proposal in July. The Republican senator's office told McClatchy they plan to introduce a bill in the next few weeks, possibly before the White House summit.

"Passing legislation requires bipartisan support. Senator Sinema and I have the only plan with support on both sides of the aisle," Cassidy said. "We will keep building support so that American families can get the help they need to care for their baby."

Sinema's office said a companion bill would be announced in the House where the senator has been building bipartisan support for the effort among her former colleagues.

Ivanka Trump has been courting lawmakers from both parties in both chambers. White House aides said she has met with members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, of which Cassidy is a member, and the House Ways and Means Committee.

 

"Democrats want to work with the administration and congressional Republicans on this issue, but cannot support approaches that would leave out most of the middle class or penalize workers who need to take leave by cutting their child tax credits or Social Security benefits," Erin Hatch, a spokeswoman for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, said.

Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, has not discussed paid family leave with Ivanka Trump, she said.

"The chairman has not heard from the Senate or the administration on paid family leave and is working on developing a solution here in the House," Hatch said.

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering, but has not voted on, a mainly Democratic bill known as the FAMILY Act, put forward by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. It is sponsored in the Senate by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

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