Louisiana U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy will chair a hearing on paid family leave after meeting with Ivanka Trump, who’s been pushing the idea in DC. The United States is one of only eight countries worldwide, and the only developed nation on earth not to have guaranteed leave for newly minted parents. Cassidy says he’s open to the idea but wants to know if the US has enough money to pay for it first.
“Is it fiscally responsible? Is it something our nation can afford? Is it truly good for the family, for the child, for the working parents? Those are my questions and I look forward to those answers.”
Paid parental leave gives new parents paid time off for a certain period after their child is born.
Advocates say paid family leave relieves much of the financial pressure on working-class families immediately after they have their children, and the ability for parents to stay with their kids for a time after birth leads to healthier children. Cassidy says he’s interested to know if offering those benefits to working-class families would be helpful.
“People above a certain income typically get paid family leave through their employer. But what we are really talking about is working families who right now don’t have access to it.”
The Senator says he’s already started looking into ways this could be accomplished without adding additional costs to businesses, including allowing parents to temporarily access their social security payments immediately after their child is born.
“The person getting the paid family leave would really just draw from future social security benefit and would delay receiving that benefit by the number of weeks she took off.”