Last week, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) teamed up with Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) to push for a new proposal for paid family leave.
The New Parents Act was introduced in the House by Crenshaw and Wagner, and the companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Rubio and Romney. Rubio and Wagner also introduced similar legislation last Congress.
Under their proposal, parents would be able to access a portion of their Social Security early after the birth or adoption of a child to finance three months of leave, according to a press release distributed by Crenshaw’s office.
“It is rare that we get the chance to drastically improve the lives of hard-working families with no long-term impact on our budget,” Crenshaw said. “By giving families temporary access to future funds when they’re growing their family, we are helping Americans when they need it most. This will be a life-changing option.”
Wagner said that the proposal is important to allow new parents to spend time with their children “during one of life's most precious and exceptional moments.”
Rubio emphasized that the proposal “does not raise taxes or expand bureaucracy.”
“It is time to realign our economic policies in support of American families, which is why I am proud to re-introduce the New Parents Act.”
Romney pointed out that his home state is one of two in the country where births are outpacing deaths. “That means a lot of Utah families are having children, and it also means added expenses for those families,” Romney said. “In Utah, and throughout the United States, a majority of working parents do not get paid when they take time off from work after the birth or adoption of a child, which can mean depleted savings, credit card debt, and student loan defaults. The New Parents Act will give parents the flexibility to take time off from work with pay during the first weeks of their children’s lives, without growing our national debt, raising taxes, or creating a new entitlement program.”
Last month, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced similar legislation called the Child Rearing and Development Leave Employment (CRADLE) Act, CBS News reported.
A staffer of Crenshaw’s told The Daily Wire that this proposal is similar to Lee and Ernst’s but differs in terms of “repayment options and transferability of the benefit between parents.”
In a press conference, Rubio said he hopes to partner with Lee and Ernst to “find the final way to approach it.”
Ivanka Trump has championed this issue since the 2016 campaign where she stood by President Trump as he announced his support for six weeks of government-sponsored maternity leave, The Daily Wire reported. The Trump Administration also included paid family leave in the 2019 budget proposal, making Trump the first president to do so.
When President Trump announced his support of paid family leave during the 2019 State of the Union Address, Wagner said she “stood up and shouted yes,” during the press conference.
“We now have a Republican White House willing to work with us on a conservative and responsible solution and I am grateful we’re having such a robust conversation on how best to support our families.”