Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is introducing legislation next week that is likely to allow parents to draw from their Social Security benefits early in what he is calling a "conservative solution" for paid family leave.
Full details of the bill haven't been disclosed yet, but an aide to Rubio confirmed it would be similar to an idea from the conservative Independent Women's Forum. Under the plan, the provision to draw from Social Security would be available to each spouse for up to 12 weeks, for a total of 24 weeks, for each child who has been born or adopted. In return, parents would defer their retirement benefits for the amount of time necessary to offset the cost of their parental benefits.
In a video released Thursday, provided in advance to the Washington Examiner, Rubio touts his efforts to expand the child tax credit and promises to make passing paid family leave a priority.
The Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on paid family leave July 11.
Rubio pushed for provisions in the GOP-passed tax law that doubles the per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, and increased the amount families can receive to $1,400. He highlighted these legislative victories in his video and stressed that he believes the Republican Party should pass legislation for families and that strengthens the economy.
"I want my message to be clear: If you work hard, pay your taxes, and start a family, you are doing immense good for our country in a time where we need stable families more than we ever have," he said.
Ivanka Trump, first daughter and White House adviser, has made paid family leave one of her priorities and has met with Rubio on the subject. The president showed his support for a family leave policy during his State of the Union address in January.
Under the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 workers or more must allow 12 weeks of leave every year so can they care for a new child or an ill parent, but in most cases, the leave isn't paid. The U.S. stands in contrast to other industrialized nations that have set a mandatory or subsidized leave policy.arr