Politics: How Ivanka Trump is working on paid family leave, affordable child care -- and why it hasn’t passed - - PressFrom - US
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Politics How Ivanka Trump is working on paid family leave, affordable child care -- and why it hasn’t passed

10:35  03 december  2019
10:35  03 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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America's parents want paid family leave and affordable child care . Why can' t they get it ? "The first year and a half was explaining what paid family leave was and why it made sense which Until age 7, children should be cared for by their mother or other family members, said Terri Lustig

Ivanka Trump worked last year with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on a plan to provide parental leave "Twenty-five years after [the Family Medical Leave Act] was passed we finally have bipartisan agreement And Trump , who called for paid family leave in his State of the Union address last year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ivanka Trump took furious notes as she listened to parents, day care providers and employers explain the hurdles they’ve encountered searching for affordable child care during a recent roundtable on the issue, the seventh she’d held this year.

For providers, holding parents’ hands through the thicket of paperwork for subsidies and grants takes up time they should be educating kids. For parents, the high cost of care sometimes means one of them must stay home, taking a wage earner out of the workforce. And for employers, especially those who have people on multiple shifts, the structure of their work simply doesn't align with traditional child care hours.

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Ivanka Trump will be on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a series of meetings on the administration's paid family leave initiative, which appears to This is something she's been working on with members of Congress and private sector leaders behind the scenes during her two years at the White House, with

Paid family leave has long been a priority for Democrats who took control of the House in January. Ivanka Trump , President Donald Trump 's daughter “I think it 's a remarkable sign of progress that attendance here on both sides was so strong. In 2014, I testified at the very first hearing solely on

a group of people around each other: Ivanka Trump visits a day care attached to Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City on Oct. 10. She is advising her father, President Donald Trump, on child care and paid family leave. As much as she believes her “efforts are bearing fruit,” Trump said she will have viewed her work “as a failure if we don’t pass legislation.” © Brian Powers, USA TODAY Network Ivanka Trump visits a day care attached to Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City on Oct. 10. She is advising her father, President Donald Trump, on child care and paid family leave. As much as she believes her “efforts are bearing fruit,” Trump said she will have viewed her work “as a failure if we don’t pass legislation.”

For more than an hour, Trump listened, filling notepad pages, but offering few questions or comments.

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This mix of quiet public appearances and intense private thoughts reflects how Trump has been tackling two of her marquee issues — paid family leave and affordable child care — since coming to Washington in 2017 as an adviser to her father, President Donald Trump. Eschewing talk shows and tweetstorms, Trump does her work mostly in the background.

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The child care and leave ideas come at the urging of Trump ’s daughter Ivanka , who holds no official position in his administration but has reportedly been Behind her is Trump 's daughter Ivanka , who is credited with promoting family leave and child care help. Citing his daughter, Trump said then that

Ivanka Trump has made family leave one of her central platforms since her father, President Donald Trump , took office.

Ivanka Trump wearing a white shirt and black hair © Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Ivanka Trump

And even though she has made some progress — most notably securing an increase in the child tax credit in 2017’s tax law — she admits there’s a long way to go.  

“It's a travesty that we are the only country in the developed world without a policy to support parents and families,” Trump said. “It's an area that we just needed to do better, and we fought to do better.”

Trump spoke with the USA TODAY Network as part of a deep-dive into the delays in passing federal paid leave and affordable child care. The forces standing in the way, USA TODAY found, include powerful business lobbyists, who oppose federal mandates or a tax. Another barrier: While working families clamor for these policies, large swaths of Americans continue to think the ideal family has a mother staying home with the kids. 

See the full project: America's parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can't they get it?

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According to Trump aides, Ivanka Trump has encouraged her father for weeks to detail policies that would appeal to parents overburdened or underserved by — Donald Trump , in softer tones than he normally uses, on Tuesday unveiled several policy proposals for lowering child - care costs that were

Ivanka pays lip service to helping women, but many of her policies fall short. That 's because, like her dad On paid family leave , she's been in discussions with Republicans like Sens. In addition to doubling the Child Tax Credit and the Child Care and Development Block Grants, POTUS’s Budget

Despite those influences, insiders say the political heat to address paid parental leave and affordable child care in Congress is hotter than ever. Both sides of the aisle are now suggesting solutions — a noticeable change from previous efforts, Trump said.

But compromise remains elusive, and proposals for what to do about leave and care and how to pay for them diverge wildly.

“I love the fact that we're now in a moment where policies are being debated and compared against one another,” Trump said. “That wasn't true two years ago."

Moms are working, so U.S. must 'evolve'

Under the gaze of the family photos that pepper her D.C. office, Trump said the current American child care system is “not sustainable.”  

Parents can’t afford quality care; caregivers make below-poverty wages; and child care, as a business, has low margins and high liability, she told USA TODAY.

Our economy has changed drastically in the past few decades, and working moms are now an ensconced part of it: Roughly 47% of the workforce is female, according to Department of Labor statistics. The U.S. can't afford to keep the status quo, Trump said, and the time has come for policies to “evolve." 

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Ivanka Trump paused before saying yes, and that her own organization has as well “since its inception.” Some properties of Trump Organization do offer paid family leave , according to this Vice President of HR reports the Hillary Clinton about affordable child care and paid family leave →.

Ivanka Trump is pushing a proposal on Capitol Hill that addresses the child - care burden Ivanka Trump has been working with the office of Sen. In Alabama, parents can expect to pay an average of 0 per month for infant care , according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left -leaning think tank.

"Whether it's by choice or by necessity, we need to support this new reality,” she said.

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Some of the biggest opponents to federal intervention on child care costs, the USA TODAY team found, are Americans who think kids are best off if their moms stay home. These people don't want to pay for another family's child care, and they worry by doing so the government would be incentivizing parents to work instead of spending time with their kids. 

And those attitudes — held by people who, polls have shown, lean conservative — contribute to inertia in Congress, insiders say.

Nevertheless, Trump has abandoned the long-held conservative talking point that a federal mandate is a nonstarter.

When she got to Washington, she admits she found politicians weren't ready to change laws. So she set about educating lawmakers and government officials who were entrenched in their opinions despite updated information on the benefits of paid leave and child care.

“I think for a long time, people had grown rather complacent,” she said. “There was no effort to educate colleagues across the aisle on the merit of supporting the policies advanced. So nothing's going to move.”

Trump says her biggest win so far has been doubling the child tax credit, from $1,000 to $2,000, while making more parents eligible to receive a refund, even if they don't pay much in taxes. Additionally, the administration lobbied Congress to increase money that states receive for child care block grants by 40%, Trump said.

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A month before Donald J. Trump was elected president, he and his aides watched his daughter’s coolly composed surface crack open. Inside Trump Tower, the candidate was preparing for a debate when an aide rushed in with news that The Washington Post was about to publish an article saying that Mr

Ivanka Trump ’s contributions to advancements in child - care and family - leave policies A “senior administration official” claimed Ivanka Trump was responsible for her father’s words on “ paid Of course, Congress might refuse to pass any of the Trumps ’ halfway measures. In that case, the GOP

'Corporate America has been too slow'

Ivanka Trump et al. taking a selfie: Ivanka Trump visits Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City on Oct. 10 for a roundtable. “Child care is an undisputed work-related expense for most of America’s working families,” she said at the Kansas City event. © Brian Powers, USA TODAY Network Ivanka Trump visits Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City on Oct. 10 for a roundtable. “Child care is an undisputed work-related expense for most of America’s working families,” she said at the Kansas City event.

As a working mother, the issues of paid leave and affordable child care are personal to Trump. But as an adviser to the president, these issues are less about heartstrings and more about America’s ability to attract and retain a healthy, inclusive workforce.

“Child care is an undisputed work-related expense for most of America’s working families,” she said at the Kansas City roundtable.  

For a long time, the business community has been a roadblock to making paid family leave and, to some extent, affordable child care solutions become a reality, experts told USA TODAY. 

Trump said companies have been receptive to her discussions on the issues, but she admitted many still view paid leave simply as “an important benefit to recruit and retain talent" — not as something every American should have.

Even with the uptick in companies offering paid leave, Trump said, “corporate America has been too slow to adopt meaningful reforms.”

For her, the biggest reason to support a nationwide solution are small businesses, which often can't afford generous paid leave policies. 

“If you have six employees and you have two or three who go out on leave … it's not sustainable,” she said, “which is why I think we need a federal policy.”

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Ivanka Trump has now teamed up with Senator Marco Rubio on a far more interesting plan. Whether they think so or not, Mr. Rubio and Ms. Trump are lighting the way toward an effective system of paid family leave a quarter-century after we enacted unpaid leave during the first Clinton administration.

President Donald Trump unveiled his child care plan in Pennsylvania last September, while he was still the GOP’s nominee, alongside Ivanka , who helped craft the policy proposal. “This is a reform of critical value and long overdue,” Ivanka said as she introduced her father. “My father understands the needs

American work: Is it at odds with American life?

'A failure if we don’t pass legislation'

In a lot of ways, Trump is like a symphony conductor for these debates. Right now, she’s trying to get the brass section (Republicans) to talk to percussion (Democrats) and bring in the reeds (business) without throwing off the beat.

The White House doesn’t legislate, she said, but instead acts as an advocate of issues the president wants to advance and a mediator bringing lawmakers together to find a path forward.

While no bills have her name attached, the president’s 2020 budget gives a peek at Trump’s preferred policies.

On paid leave, the budget calls on states to give six weeks off to new parents and pay for it in ways similar to unemployment insurance. But Trump has said this line item is just a placeholder and the White House is looking at all congressional proposals that have the potential to pass. 

And on child care, the budget requests a “one-time, mandatory investment of $1 billion” earmarked for “underserved populations.” Implemented similarly to the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, states would apply for a piece of the pie and distribute the money with an eye toward “encouraging business consortia to establish child care facilities for their employees,” according to a budget fact sheet.

While those are the ideas the administration has put on paper, Trump said she is generally interested in energizing the debate and catalyzing traction.

“I don't want to disparage any policy ideas,” she said. “I want to encourage people to come to the table, including people who have championed other policies and say, ‘These are fresh ideas. Let's debate them.’”

As much as she believes her “efforts are bearing fruit,” Trump said she will have viewed her work “as a failure if we don’t pass legislation.”

Getting laws on the books on these two fronts is, after all, why she left New York and the multiple businesses that she says she “loved running.”

“I changed the trajectory of my personal life because I care about supporting the president as he seeks to better the lives of others and give back to a country that's given so much to us,” she said.

“That's truly all I care about, which is why I'm willing to put in the elbow grease.”

Follow Courtney Crowder on Twitter: @CourtneyCare 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How Ivanka Trump is working on paid family leave, affordable child care -- and why it hasn’t passed

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