Senate panel to hold hearing on paid family leave

Senate panel to hold hearing on paid family leave
© Greg Nash

A Senate panel will hold a hearing next week on paid family leave — an issue that has become a priority for some lawmakers in both parties as well as for the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpIvanka Trump's fashion line dropped from Hudson's Bay due to 'performance' Trump's harsh immigration policies are a gift for human traffickers Let’s not talk about family leave without talking about child care MORE.

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOnly all-male state Supreme Court set to get female justice GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE The real reason Scott Pruitt is gone: Putting a key voting bloc at risk MORE (R-Iowa) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (D-N.Y.) are both expected to testify at the hearing, which will be held July 11 by the Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. The two senators have been leading voices on paid family leave in their respective parties.

Gillibrand has offered a bill, co-sponsored by most other Senate Democrats, that would increase payroll taxes to fund 12 weeks of paid family leave. Workers would receive up to two-thirds of their wages while on the leave.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ernst, along with Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE GOP senator moves to restart Pentagon report on NATO allies' spending MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioScottish beer company offering ‘tiny cans’ for Trump’s ‘tiny hands’ The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war MORE (R-Fla.), have been considering a proposal by the Independent Women's Forum (IWF) that would allow people to receive paid family leave in the form of early Social Security benefits, in exchange for deferring collection of Social Security retirement benefits.

Under IWF's proposal, workers making an average wage would be paid about 45 percent of wages while on leave. 

The hearing comes as Ivanka Trump has been meeting with lawmakers to discuss the issue. President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE called for "supporting paid family leave" in his State of the Union address earlier this year, though he did not get into specifics. 

The hearing also follows the passage of Republicans' tax-cut law, which provides a tax credit for businesses that offer paid family leave.

“I am looking forward to a productive discussion about how we can build upon these efforts and give parents the workplace flexibility they need to raise a family,” said Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave New push to break deadlock on paid family leave MORE (R-La.), chairman of the subcommittee holding the hearing. Cassidy met with Ivanka Trump to discuss the topic in January.

Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policies and strategies at the National Partnership for Women & Families, are also scheduled to testify at the hearing.

Axios first reported on the hearing.