As the House Ways and Means Committee holds its hearing today on “Legislative Proposals for Paid Family and Medical Leave,” we wanted to highlight the Republican track record of supporting policies that expand paid leave for workers and families:
- In 2017, we doubled the child tax credit.
- 39 million families benefited from this credit last year, receiving an average $2,200 per family.
- We created the first ever national policy on paid family and medical leave through the Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit.
- Local businesses are able to utilize this credit to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave, for family related matters or medical reasons.
- Recently signed into law, Republicans established a New Baby Savings to help with the costs of bringing a new child into a home.
- Millions of parents are now able to borrow from their savings plan to pay for expenses related to birth or adoption.
And thanks to the policies of the Trump Administration, the U.S. economy is getting stronger every day.
To stay competitive in a booming jobs market, and thanks to provisions of tax reform, companies are offering a host of benefits to their workers. As the Washington Post reported, “Large employers are offering more weeks of paid leave to employees trying to meet family obligations, such as caring for an elderly parent or sick older child, coping with the death of a family member, or in some instances taking care of a new pet.”
With continued momentum for more pro-growth policies, families can continue to climb up the economic ladder.
Reps. Kevin Brady and Jackie Walorski laid out in an oped for the Washington Examiner what Republicans are going to be fighting for this Congress as we work to expand access to paid leave.
- Expand what is working. Republicans are advocating for “permanent extension of the employer paid family and medical leave tax credit” so job creators can continue to utilize this new tax credit.
- Focus on workers who need help the most. As Brady and Walorski pointed out, “low-wage workers are also at a disadvantage and the least likely to have access to paid leave through an employer.” Any federal policy should lift up these workers, not stick them with higher payroll taxes.
- Continue to grow our economy. A recent Gallup poll discovered, “Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy is higher than at any point in about two decades.” Lawmakers need to do all we can to continue strengthening the job market – which means stopping massive tax hikes from taking effect and not adding onerous mandates to Main Street businesses.
The time is ripe for bipartisan action on paid leave. “Not since enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993 has there been such a focus on the importance of supporting new parents in that pivotal period of life after the birth or adoption of a new child,” wrote Brady and Walorski. “Let’s build on our economic progress and work together to find solutions that increase the availability of paid leave for America’s families.”