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ICYMI – Reps. Brady and Walorski oped: Build on the momentum for paid leave

January 28, 2020

Washington Examiner 

Build on the momentum for paid leave

By Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)

January 28, 2020

Families have been the biggest winners in the Trump economy, with more jobs and higher wages, particularly for women. But, working parents shouldn’t have to choose between financial security and keeping their families strong. They should be able to do both.

That’s why greater access to paid family leave is smart pro-family, pro-growth policy.

In December, Congress and Trump achieved one of their major priorities by extending 12 weeks of paid family leave to 2.1 million federal workers. And, of course, due to the GOP tax cuts, the average family of four in America keeps $2,000 more of their hard-earned dollars each year. Higher wages due to the strong economy have added another $4,000, and the doubling of the child tax credit has provided more than 39 million families with an average benefit of $2,200. All that makes it easier for families to pay for medicines, child care, and family leave.

Republicans and Democrats should work together to increase the availability of paid leave without reducing families’ economic independence, hurting small businesses, or interfering with employees and employers working together to design flexible solutions that fit them.

Without expensive mandates or higher payroll taxes, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are exploring incentives to encourage expansion of employer-provided paid leave through permanent extension of the employer-paid family and medical leave tax credit. We also know that, while 25% of workers in larger businesses have access to paid family leave, that’s not the case with small- and mid-sized businesses that can’t afford, financially or structurally, to offer formal paid leave benefits. For these small employers, increasing access to private insurance options could help defray costs.

In the new year, we’re excited to partner with the Trump administration to continue the momentum and craft additional pro-family and pro-worker policies that strengthen communities across our country. Let’s build on our economic progress and work together to find solutions that increase the availability of paid leave for families.

CLICK HERE to read the full oped.