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 BuckHillicon Valley: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC | Uber reports big drop in revenue | US offers M reward for election interference info Senate passes legislation to ban TikTok on federal devices The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill MORE (Colo.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMatt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump order aims to curb US agencies' use of foreign workers after TVA outrage | EPA transition back to the office alarms employees | Hundreds of green groups oppose BLM nominee MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarArizona Rep. Paul Gosar wins GOP primary  Trade negotiations mustn't short-circuit domestic debate House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks MORE (Ariz.), Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Top conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill MORE (Wis.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOn The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks MORE (N.C.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanHouse Dems introduce bill to require masks on planes and in airports Bipartisan bill introduced to require TSA to take temperature checks House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks MORE (S.C.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceQAnon backer Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia GOP runoff QAnon supporter in Georgia heads into tight GOP runoff GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor MORE (Ga.), John JoyceJohn JoyceThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Hillicon Valley: Livestreaming service Twitch suspends Trump account | Reddit updates hate speech policy, bans subreddits including The_Donald | India bans TikTok Trump campaign sues Pennsylvania, county election boards over mail-in voting MORE (Pa.), Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerJerry Falwell Jr. placed on indefinite leave GOP congressman calls for Falwell's resignation Pence confidant helps 24-year-old beat Trump-backed candidate MORE (N.C.) and Ron WrightRonald (Ron) WrightComedian Joel McHale: Reach out and help local restaurants, wear masks with your favorite message; Frontline Foods's Ryan Sarver says we are in inning 3 of the COVID-19 ballgame Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats Chinese tech giants caught up in rising US-China tensions 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 RubioDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Lincoln Project expands GOP target list, winning Trump ire China sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong MORE (R-Fla.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Trump slams 'rogue' Sasse after criticism of executive actions From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters 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 WagnerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war House Democrats target Midwestern GOP seats Administration is leading the way in empowering women and girls MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawABC News mocked for 'peaceful demonstration intensified' report The Memo: Muted conventions may scramble 2020 race The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response MORE (R-Texas) in the House.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district 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.