President Donald Trump's push for a paid family leave program was a campaign issue
Trump promised last year that he would call for six weeks' maternity leave
President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget will push for the creation of a federal paid family leave program that will provide families after the birth or adoption of a child with six weeks of paid leave, a Trump administration official tells CNN.
Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and top aide, was the force behind the new proposal, the official said. The Trump administration, with Trump overseas for his first foreign trip as president, will officially roll out their 2018 budget on Tuesday.
The paid family leave program will likely face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have vociferously opposed any such program.
Trump’s pushing for a paid family leave program – which was first reported by The Washington Post – makes good on a promise he made during the 2016 campaign. During a September 2016 campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump rolled out a series of childcare policies, including a plan for six weeks of paid maternity leave.
“For many families in our country, childcare is now the single largest expense – even more than housing,” Trump said at the time speaking for prepared remarks. “Our plan will bring relief to working and middle class families.
Ivanka Trump joined her father at the event, arguing that, “As a society we need to create policies that champion all parents, enabling the American family to thrive.”
Trump promised during the campaign that he would call for six weeks’ maternity leave by extending unemployment insurance benefits to working mothers whose employers do not offer paid maternity leave.
He also suggested making child care expenses tax deductible for families earning less than $500,000 and called for establishing tax-free accounts to be used for child care and child enrichment activities.
It is unclear how closely Trump’s campaign pledge will track with his administration’s proposal.
When President Barack Obama pushed for paid leave in 2015, both moderate and conservative Republicans panned the plan.
“I don’t think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family … I don’t think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN’s Dana Bash at the time.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.