Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave

House Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation that they say would provide a “free market alternative” to paid family leave proposals.

The Freedom for Families Act — introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by 12 Republicans — would allow individuals to use health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover expenses while on leave following a birth, adoption or family member's illness.

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The bill would expand the scope of who can obtain an HSA and increase the annual contribution limit. It also would allow employers to make pretax contributions into employee accounts for the purposes of paid leave.

“Families already use health savings accounts to save for healthcare expenses. There is no reason why families should not have the freedom to access those funds to pay expenses during family leave for a child’s birth, adoption, or a family illness,” Biggs said in a statement to The Hill. “This proposal provides financial security for families during family leave without new taxes or new federal burdens on employers.”

The measure is co-sponsored by GOP Reps. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckWave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback With budget deal, Congress again fails to hold spending in check The Memo: Mueller's stumbles distract from substance MORE (Colo.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse approves Democrat-backed bill ending mandatory arbitration Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertLouie Gohmert's exchange with Robert Mueller revealed an uneasy relationship Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Mueller will be remembered for his weak testimony, not his shocking report MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOvernight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House approves two bills to block Trump drilling House GOP rolls out energy proposal to counter Democrats offshore drilling ban MORE (Ariz.), Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill GOP lawmaker: Trump 'not quite popular enough' to advance an immigration bill MORE (Wis.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump The Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' GOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan MORE (N.C.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanHotel industry mounts attack on Airbnb with House bill GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess MORE (S.C.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet MORE (Ga.), John JoyceJohn JoyceGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave MORE (Pa.), Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTo boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Pressure rises on Cheney to make decision NCAA urges California governor not to sign 'fair pay' bill for college athletes MORE (N.C.) and Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightGOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Population shifts set up huge House battleground MORE (Texas).

The GOP bill comes on the heels of a measure introduced by House Democrats that would guarantee federal employees 12 weeks of paid family leave.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioLiberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE (R-Fla.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes MORE (R-Utah) recently unveiled a measure that would allow parents to utilize a portion of their future Social Security benefits to finance family leave. A companion bill was introduced by Reps. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerMissouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers Liberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow A true believer in diversity, inclusion MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawMissouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers Can Carl DeMaio save the California GOP? Crenshaw-AOC battle puts spotlight on lending guns to a friend MORE (R-Texas) in the House.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE’s budget proposal for 2020 calls for six weeks of paid parental leave, and a handful of states already have paid family-leave programs on the books.