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 TrumpEx-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain MORE.

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP senator divorcing from husband GOP senators introduce bill to preserve ObamaCare's pre-existing conditions protections Pence: Trump’s national security will be as 'dominant' in space as it is on Earth MORE (R-Iowa) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandEx-GOP donor urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake' Overnight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Former Virginia Gov. McAuliffe to visit Iowa, fueling 2020 speculation 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.

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Ernst, along with Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses US military intervention in Venezuela would be a major mistake The Hill's 12:30 Report — Obama jumps into midterm fight with speech blasting Trump | Trump wants DOJ to probe anonymous writer | Day four of Kavanaugh hearing MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story Rubio defends Haley over curtains story: Example of media pushing bias House lawmakers urge top intel official to probe national security threat of doctored videos 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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 CassidyOutdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers GOP eyes another shot at ObamaCare repeal after McCain’s death Overnight Defense: Push to rename Senate building for McCain sparks GOP backlash | Pentagon has no plans to suspend future Korea war games | Mattis rejects plan to privatize Afghan War 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.