July 19, 2018

VIDEO: The Push for Paid Family Leave

WASHINGTON— Following the recent Senate hearing chaired by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), examining proposals to provide working families with paid family leave, Cassidy announced his intention to continue working closely with the White House on the issue and “making progress on potential solutions to give parents the flexibility they need to raise a family.”

Ivanka Trump, a special advisor to the president, attended the hearing and said it was “an important step in charting a path forward” that gave “this critical issue real bipartisan momentum for the first time.”

“Ivanka is a strong advocate for children and working families,” Dr. Cassidy, chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, said today. “Fewer than half of families earning less than $50,000 have access to paid family leave, but welcoming a new baby certainly isn’t any easier for them. We need to craft a targeted solution that helps families, without creating a mountain of new spending that threatens Social Security, hurts employees and employers, and buries taxpayers in even more red ink. I’m looking forward to the task ahead.”

“Ultimately, a program has to be sustainable,” Dr. Cassidy warned in the hearing. “It is false compassion if we put forward a plan which cannot be sustained. And unfortunately that is many of our programs now. If you just look how the actuaries are telling us that Medicare will be bankrupt in eight years, and the Social Security trust fund by 2034. … So we have to have a compassion which we understand can persist and not just be a feel good for the moment.”

Earlier this year, Cassidy met with Ivanka Trump in his Washington, D.C., office to discuss the issue of paid family leave and the importance of providing families with flexible work arrangements.

The tax cut legislation Republicans passed into law in December included a provision creating the first nationwide paid family leave policy in American history, which incentivizes employers to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave with a tax credit of up to 25 percent.