President Trump said on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Leave that he supports paid family leave.
“We’re here today to support the heroic calling for working moms and dads—to really help them. We’re going to help them. And we’re going to help them a lot. American families are the heart, soul, and backbone of our nation. Strong and loving families build up our neighborhoods, sustain our communities, invigorate our cities, pass down our values, and make a brighter future for every citizen,” the president said.“In everything we do, we’re putting the American families first. And frankly, we’re putting America first. But American families are coming first. With more women working today than ever before, we now have a historic opportunity to enact long-overdue reforms. It’s time to pass Paid Family Leave and expand access to quality.”
“And that’s something that could take a long time before it ever got done, but we’re going to get it done and we’re working with a lot of tremendous people, many of whom are in the room. And I want to thank you for that,” he said.
“We have a historic chance to pass paid family leave and child care reform, so that every American family has the freedom to embrace the dignity of work and the joy of raising a family.” —@IvankaTrump pic.twitter.com/XU3hP0z64d
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 12, 2019
“An estimated one out of every four American moms returns to work within two weeks of giving birth because they cannot afford to miss a paycheck or risk losing their job. We want every mother to have the chance to spend those precious few weeks with her newborn or adopted child. And I understand, statistically—they show, statistically, it’s so much better for the baby in growing up, even in later years. I can imagine that,” the president added.
Three months of paid leave for federal workers is included in a massive, annual defense policy bill that House lawmakers passed Wednesday and sent to the Senate. President Trump has said he will sign it into law.
Service members are already eligible for paid parental leave but how much time off they can take depends on which branch of the military they are in. The bill Trump is expected to sign would provide all service members with three months of paid parental leave, according to The Associated Press.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, pointed to that agreement as a model for corporate America and the rest of private industry.
“As the country’s largest employer, we must lead by example, and after decades, are finally doing so,” said Ivanka Trump, who has lobbied lawmakers on child care and paid leave issues since joining her father’s White House in 2017.
The White House also outlined its principles for child care legislation. They include reauthorizing the child care block grants, which are set to expire in the 2021 budget year; providing flexibility; and increasing options, by eliminating regulations. Other principles include making quality child care more available and addressing a shortage among child-care workers, according to the Associated Press.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press