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 BuckThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Biggs, Khanna launch bipartisan War Powers Caucus Woman accuses top US cardinal of mishandling church sexual abuse case MORE (Colo.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' Matt Gaetz hints prosecutor won't press charges against threatening caller for political reasons Hillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertJudiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question Gohmert calls Mueller an 'anal opening' ahead of testimony MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question House sends Trump border aid bill after Pelosi caves to pressure from moderates 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 MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (N.C.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanConservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question Hillicon Valley: White House to host social media summit amid Trump attacks | Pelosi says Congress to get election security briefing in July | Senate GOP blocks election security bill | Pro-Trump forum 'quarantined' by Reddit | Democrats press Zuckerberg Bipartisan House committee members agree on cyber threats to elections, if not how to address it MORE (S.C.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 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 WalkerThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP rattled by Trump rally EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE (N.C.) and Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightPopulation shifts set up huge House battleground GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill 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 RubioUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain MORE (R-Fla.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite GOP rattled by Trump rally 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 WagnerLiberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow A true believer in diversity, inclusion GOP amps up efforts to recruit women candidates MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawPopulation shifts set up huge House battleground Liberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow Racial politics roil Democratic Party MORE (R-Texas) in the House.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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.