CLASP Releases Analysis of Trump Parental Leave Proposal

In a time too often marked by division, one thing most Americans can agree on is the need for paid family and medical leave. As popular support for paid leave has grown, politicians on both sides of the aisle have begun to embrace it. Yet proposals to address the country’s lack of any federal paid leave program vary widely—with some plans undermining rather than helping working families.

Today, CLASP is releasing an analysis of President Trump’s paid parental leave proposal, which the administration put forward as a part of its budget. We find that the Trump proposal has serious shortcomings. First, the proposal provides leave only for parents of newly born or adopted children, omitting millions of Americans with other caregiving responsibilities and those needing time to recover from their own illnesses. Second, by requiring states to finance paid leave through their unemployment insurance systems, the program threatens to harm unemployed workers while purporting to help parents. And finally, the proposal suggests that a Trump paid leave program would likely provide benefit levels so small that low-wage workers would largely be unable to make ends meet while taking leave.