Tags: Conservatives | Push | Paid | Family Leave

Conservatives Push for Paid Family Leave

Image: Conservatives Push for Paid Family Leave

People hold signs and listen to speakers during a rally for paid family leave in New York on March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

By    |   Monday, 15 Aug 2016 12:07 PM

A Republican-funded research group is proposing a new government-funded program for paid-leave benefits for workers who make less than $28,000 a year.

The American Action Forum's plan is based on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which assists low-income Americans by supplementing their paychecks and has been supported by Republicans and Democrats.

"There has been a trend in the last few years where more conservatives have been interested in trying to find solutions to expand family leave," Ben Gitis, a policy analyst who wrote an outline of the AAF's proposal, told The Atlantic.

"What's missing from these solutions is something that's really targeted for low-income people, and that's why we thought of this idea."

By contrast, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., have proposed the Family Act, which would institute a Social Security-like plan to provide universal paid leave of up to 12 weeks, letting employees who have or adopt a child, have certain medical conditions, or must take care of a family member, while receiving up to $4,000 or two-thirds of their normal monthly income.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has outlined a similar plan for paid family leave, which would be supported through taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.

The Earned Income Leave Benefit, as Gitis calls it, would cost as little as $1.5 billion or as much as $18 billion, depending on how many people use the program.

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to estimate the cost of the Family Act, but Gitis estimates at least $85.9 billion, though this is disputed by supporters of the measure.

Republican campaigns and legislators have yet to adopt the plan, although Gitis has not suggested how it could be funded. In fact, conservatives are wary of the plan's similarities to entitlement programs.

"That is a genuine concern that conservatives would have," Gitis told The Atlantic, specifying that the plan would be cheaper than the Family Act.

"If we're looking for something that is beneficial specifically for low-income Americans who are least likely to have access to paid family leave through the private sector and most likely to need something like that because they won't have sufficient funds saved up themselves, this is one solution."

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A Republican-funded research group is proposing a new government-funded program for paid-leave benefits for workers who make less than $28,000 a year.
Conservatives, Push, Paid, Family Leave
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2016-07-15
Monday, 15 Aug 2016 12:07 PM
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