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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, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Trump slams Facebook, Twitter for limiting spread of New York Post's Biden story OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis MORE.

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstDemocrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden Poll finds Ernst with 1-point lead in Iowa MORE (R-Iowa) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandInternal Democratic poll: Desiree Tims gains on Mike Turner in Ohio House race Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon Democrats question Amazon over reported interference of workers' rights to organize 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 LeeEnd the American military presence in Somalia Ted Cruz won't wear mask to speak to reporters at Capitol Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? 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 TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' 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 CassidyMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate 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.