WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) today introduced legislation with resources to pay for leave and cover the cost of daycare, baby supplies and other expenses associated with a new child.
The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would allow families the option to advance up to $5,000 of their recently-doubled child tax credit in the first year of a child’s life or the first year a family adopts a child. Families can also choose to advance their child credit without having to miss work or sacrifice a state or employer’s family/medical leave policy to pay for other expenses.
Most other paid leave proposals require parents to take off work to receive benefits, this bill allows teleworkers the option to access child care benefits and to continue working from home while they take care of their new child.
Low-income earners who do not qualify for the full refundable portion of the child tax credit can elect to receive a benefit adjusted to 100 percent wage replacement over 12 weeks of work.
The bill is the only bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support working families during their child’s first year. It is the product of more than a year of work to craft a bill that could pass with bipartisan support.
“The first year of a child’s life is the most expensive. This bill achieves our goal of helping working families better provide for their child in the way that best works for their family,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“Too often, Arizonans who start families are forced to decide between going back to work right away, or losing wages by taking time off to spend with their growing families,” said Sinema. “Arizona families deserve better. Our bipartisan bill represents an important first step that can pass Congress now, offering parents a new option to finance time off of work or help pay for childcare.”
“Earlier this year I took a short parental leave from Congress to be with my wife Aly for the birth of our son, and I want to ensure more parents have access to financial help that could fund leave or offset other costs like child care,” said Congressman Allred. “I was able to be there for my family, and we need to make sure more parents can do the same. This bipartisan bill will provide families with flexibility and much-needed cash in hand within weeks of the arrival of their new baby.”
“The joy of starting a family should not be dampened by the fear of being unable to make ends meet if a parent takes time off work,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This bipartisan effort to support hardworking families in the first year after birth or adoption will prove critical to ensuring families can thrive without the burden of potential bankruptcy or debt. I’m proud to introduce the Advancing Support for Working Families Act with my colleagues, which will bring tangible benefits and enhance paid leave options for the hardworking families in the North Country.”
Cosponsors are U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Shelley Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Representatives Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Jeff VanDrew (D-NJ), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jamie Herrera-Beutler (R-WA), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Bryan Steil (R-WI).
To view bill text, click here.
To view section by section, click here.