Ivanka Trump hopes to bring bipartisan parental leave win with White House summit
Ivanka Trump has reached out to lawmakers about the issue for months
Ivanka Trump is gathering governors, business leaders and administration officials in the White House on Thursday to push for action on an issue she hopes both sides of the aisle can come together on: paid parental leave.
Trump, whose official title is Senior Advisor to the President, described the summit as an avenue for "substantive discussion."
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"Tomorrow will mark a key moment within the Trump administration where private, public and community leaders will come together to discuss a key issue in our country – how best to support working families," Trump told FOX Business in a statement. "This has been a priority of the administration’s since the early days of the campaign and the President has delivered on one promise after another. Under his leadership, American working families have never had a brighter future."
President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will be Ivanka Trump's co-hosts for the event. The administration touts that the president has spoken about guaranteeing paid family leave nationwide as far back as his February 2017 speech to a joint session of Congress.
Ivanka Trump has praised legislation that will give more than two million federal workers access to 12 weeks of paid leave after they give birth, as well as foster or adopt a child. The bill, spearheaded by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., is expected to pass attached to the National Defense Authorization Act.
Heritage Foundation researcher Rachel Greszler is set to attend the summit after testifying before Congress on the issue Tuesday. She told FOX Business it could be difficult to drum up Republican support for the kind of national policy Ivanka Trump is pushing for.
"One of the most important questions for any federal paid family leave proposal — one that’s too often overlooked — is would this proposal actually benefit the people policymakers are trying to help?" Greszler said.
"A one-size-fits-all federal program will leave workers worse off with unintended consequences, such as hiring discrimination against, and lower pay and promotions for women," Greszler said. "Policymakers should work toward solutions that will increase access to paid family leave without enacting a new national entitlement unsuited to meet the real needs of workers."
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However, Ivanka Trump has seen fruit from her meeting with Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah in February.
Rubio, along with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., introduced legislation in March allowing parents to pull forward up to three months of those retirement benefits to use for leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The bill is an updated version of legislation he introduced in 2018.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.