Trump’s State of the Union Paid Family Leave Proposal is an Exciting Disaster

By Lizzy Francis

“A report by The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a non-profit organization that looks at policy solutions that work for low-income people, found that Trump’s version of paid family leave would not be sustainable and also would fail to address workers’ needs. Not only does his plan leave out any family caregiving like caring for an ill spouse or child, it also leaves out medical leave for workers who are seriously ill, or any provisions for caregiving solutions needed due to Military deployment. There is no dedicated federal funding to the plan, and because unemployment insurance coffers are so empty right now, it would cut unemployment benefits to people living in those states. Unemployment taxes, generally paid by employers, would be cut in this proposal and would likely pit the unemployed against parents of new babies. “Under the Trump plan, parents might get a few weeks of paid leave when a child is born, but not be able to keep a roof over that child’s head if they lose their job,” the report says. Trump’s plan provides for six weeks of paid family leave, which is would represent a great start, but just a start. In 2015, Senator Kristen Gillibrand introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, the FAMILY Act, which relies on a payroll tax that is funded by employees and employers respectively. That bill dictates for all workers contributing to Social Security get 66 percent of their wages (up to 1,000 dollars a week) for up to twelve weeks. It has gone nowhere. Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides for 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave all the people covered under Trump’s plan.”

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