President Trump could soon sign paid family leave legislation benefiting federal workers as part of the defense authorization bill that the Senate passed on Tuesday.
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Family leave is a cornerstone issue for the president's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, who has praised the legislation before its congressional approval. It would give 12 weeks of paid leave to mothers and fathers of newborns, newly adopted children or foster children.
"The President has been talking about the need for paid leave for many years now, and his government will be the first to deliver on this promise and set an example for employers nationwide that American workers and families need to be put first," Ivanka Trump told FOX Business on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Ivanka Trump gathered governors, business leaders and lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, at the White House to push for action on paid family leave, something she hopes both sides of the aisle can come together on.
"The administration will continue to encourage and inspire lawmakers to put forth plans, grounded in conservative values of work and family, that do the same for all Americans," Ivanka Trump said. "I have been incredibly encouraged by the fresh Paid Family Leave policy ideas put forward by Republicans in recent months and the fire has never been hotter to get something done. Despite historic obstruction, we continue to deliver on our promises and support hard-working families across the nation.”
Ivanka Trump praised the federal-worker paid-family-leave legislation ahead of Thursday's summit. The legislation was spearheaded by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, and went to the president's desk the day before the House of Representatives votes to impeach the President.
Heritage Foundation researcher Rachel Greszler testified before Congress about paid family leave last week. She told FOX Business there were drawbacks to the ideas Ivanka Trump is supporting.
"Although the federal employees do not have access to a formal paid family and medical leave program, they can access unlimited sick leave accumulation, advance sick leave, and a sick leave pool, which can provide an entire consecutive year or more of paid leave," Greszler said. "It makes sense for the federal government to provide paid leave to its employees, just as a growing share of private sector businesses provide it to their workers, but only if such action is accompanied by reform to the generous sick leave allotment already available to federal workers."
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the change will cost $3.3 billion between 2021 and 2024.
President Trump expressed support for including the issue in the National Defense Authorization Act last week.
"Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: Pay Raise for our Troops, Rebuilding our Military, Paid Parental Leave, Border Security, and Space Force! Congress – don't delay this anymore!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Dec. 11. "I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!"