The First Daughter discussed paid leave with lawmakers

By Alana Abramson
June 20, 2017

First Daughter Ivanka Trump traded in the White House for Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where she talked paid leave and childcare tax credits with Republican lawmakers.

Lawmakers at the meeting, which was organized by Senator Marco Rubio, included Sens. Deb Fischer, Tim Scott, Joni Ernst and Steve Daines, and Reps. Trent Franks, David Schweikert and Lamar Smith.

“Just left a productive meeting on the Hill to discuss issues affecting American working families, including childcare & paid family leave!” Trump tweeted after the meeting.

The First Daughter was instrumental in incorporating a paid family leave policy into the President’s budget, which proposes six weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents. But Congress is unlikely to pass the President’s budget in its current form; the possibilities of this proposal becoming legislation is still up in the air, and depends partially on Ivanka Trump’s ability to sway lawmakers.

Fischer, who previously has met with the First Daughter at the White House to discuss paid leave, led the portion of the discussion focused on that issue, her office said. The Nebraska Senator, who introduced her own legislation with Maine Senator Angus King in February that would incentivize businesses to implement paid leave through a tax credit — which differs from the proposal in Trump’s budget — said she anticipated more discussions ahead.

“It’s so important to have Ivanka Trump use her platform to shine a light on the challenges working families face,” said Fischer. “I look forward to continuing to work with her on a way forward with policy solutions that can make a difference.”

Although Ivanka Trump generally tries to work on issues that are either non-partisan or bi-partisan, like workforce development and increasing the number of women in STEM fields, paid leave policies are not immune from partisanship.

No Democrats were included in the list of attendees Rubio’s office provided.

Senator Patty Murray, a longtime advocate for paid leave policies who criticized the proposal in Trump’s budget as “window-dressing,” was not invited to the meeting, her office said.

And on Wednesday, female Democratic lawmakers in the House will hold their own hearing on the need for paid family and medical leave, which the organizers have described as a “response to President Trump’s wholly inadequate proposal for paid parental leave, included in his disastrous budget.”

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