GOP lawmakers offer paid parental leave legislation linked to Social Security

A group of Republicans on Wednesday introduced legislation that would allow people to pull forward some of their Social Security benefits to use for paid parental leave — the latest effort from Republicans on paid leave in recent weeks.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems say attorney general undermined credibility with Trump talking point Pollster says there is no downside to Dems jumping into 2020 primary Senate confirms Trump's pick for ambassador to Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Fla.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders MORE (R-Utah) introduced legislation in the Senate, while Reps. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerRepublicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave Top GOP lawmaker moves to force floor vote on abortion bill This week: Senate GOP prepares to change rules on Trump nominees MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawOcasio-Cortez knocks Republican over Kentucky trip: 'GOP thought they could catch us with a bluff' Overnight Energy: Collins receives more donations from Texas oil, gas industry than from Maine residents | Interior chief left meetings off schedule | Omar controversy jeopardizes Ocasio-Cortez trip to coal mine Freshman House Dems surge past GOP in money race MORE (R-Texas) offered a companion bill in the House.

"Our proposal would enact paid family leave in America without increasing taxes, without placing new mandates on small businesses," Rubio said in a news conference.

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Under the legislation, new parents would have the option to get early Social Security benefits for up to three months to finance paid parental leave. A fact sheet from Rubio and Romney said most parents below the median household income would be able to receive a benefit that would replace about two-thirds of their wages.

In exchange for receiving the paid parental leave benefit, people would either have to increase their Social Security retirement age by several months or get a reduction in their monthly Social Security benefits for the first five years of their retirements.

The legislation comes amid a renewed push for paid family leave from policymakers on both sides of the aisle, though Republicans and Democrats are taking different approaches in their proposals.

Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDems sound alarm over top DOJ nominee Restore Pell Grant eligibility to people in prison Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing MORE (R-Utah) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay Ernst Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback Abrams: Schumer has been 'relentless but thoughtful' about Senate bid MORE (R-Iowa) rolled out a proposal earlier this month that is similar to the new GOP bill. The draft legislation from Lee and Ernst would allow new parents to receive up to three months of paid parental leave in exchange for delaying collecting Social Security benefits by up to six months when they retire.

Additionally, Lee, Ernst, Rubio and Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care Bipartisan senators offer bill to expand electric vehicle tax credit Menendez, Rubio lead Senate effort to regulate Venezuelan sanctions MORE (R-La.) last month met with Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ivanka Trump mourns dead in Ethiopian jet crash MORE, the president's daughter and adviser, to discuss paid family leave.

Republican proposals to link paid parental leave and Social Security are inspired by a proposal from the conservative Independent Women's Forum (IWF), which praised the legislation offered Wednesday.

"It expands access to paid parental leave in a fiscally responsible, fair, and flexible way," IWF President Carrie Lukas said in a statement. "It would modernize an existing government program that workers already pay into to allow them early access to benefits they’ve already earned."

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Energy: Gillibrand offers bill to ban pesticide from school lunches | Interior secretary met tribal lawyer tied to Zinke casino dispute | Critics say EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use Trump says he'd like to run against Buttigieg Gillibrand introduces bill to ban harmful pesticide from school lunch MORE (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats reintroduced their own paid family leave bill last month, which would allow people to take paid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks and would be paid for through small increases in payroll taxes.

Supporters of Gillibrand's bill have criticized GOP proposals, arguing that people shouldn't feel like they have to choose between paid leave and receiving Social Security when they retire. They've also criticized Republican proposals for focusing solely on parental leave without also providing a benefit for people caring for a sick family member or dealing with their own illness.

"There is clear bipartisan agreement that we have a paid leave problem, but proposals like this fall far short of the policy solutions we need," said Brianna Cayo Cotter, chief of staff for Paid Leave for the United States.