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 TrumpThe White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos President tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE.

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBill Maher says he's 'glad' David Koch is dead Five things to know about David Koch A cash advance to consider MORE (R-Iowa) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocratic candidates face hard choices as 2020 field winnows The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate 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 LeeA cash advance to consider McConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China 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 TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative 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 CassidyA cash advance to consider Bottom Line I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King 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.