Rubio proposes tax credit for employers to give paid leave
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GOP presidential hopeful Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE has proposed a new tax credit to encourage businesses to provide their workers with paid leave.

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“One of the greatest threats to family today is that too many Americans have to choose between being there for their children in times of great need or meeting the basic financial needs of their families,” Rubio said Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

“Current law ... has proven insufficient, because taking unpaid leave is simply not viable.”

The Florida senator’s plan provides a 25 percent tax credit to businesses that offer workers at least four and up to 12 weeks of paid leave.

A fact sheet released by Rubio’s campaign minutes before he began to speak says that his plan would cap corporate taxes at 25 percent and create an additional $2,500 for the child tax credit for middle-class families.

Rubio spoke at the conservative summit, which caters to the GOP’s evangelical wing, as his poll numbers continue to climb following a strong performance during the second GOP presidential debate. He now sits in fifth place in RealClearPolitics’ average of most recent national polling.

While businessman Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have a tight hold on the religious right voting bloc, Rubio is in the mix. A new Fox News poll released this week found Rubio tied in fourth place with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina among Republican evangelicals, 1 percentage point behind Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' MORE (Texas).

Rubio is not typically the first choice of the most religious voters in the party, but he has emphasized his views on major issues for the constituency, specifically abortion. Rubio says that abortion should be completely illegal, without exceptions for rape and incest.

He quoted Scripture at the beginning of his speech and strayed from his prepared remarks to declare that it’s important for politicians to be guided by their faith. 

Most of the speech centered on Rubio’s familial story. But toward the end, he focused on abortion, the crux of a contentious debate in the Senate over whether the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood.

“No candidate for president can claim to stand on the side of our people if they do not believe every person has a right to exist,” he said.

“In a world where life is increasingly not valued, where people are summarily discarded, America must stand for the belief that all life is worthy of protection, because all life comes from God.”