Party Of “Family Values” Says No To Paid Family Leave

The party of “family values” opposes letting working Americans spend more time at home. Republicans regularly say that stronger families will help solve many of America’s domestic issues but when it’s time to put their money where their mouths are, every GOP candidate on stage is opposed to federal paid leave programs.

    • Support for paid family leave has rapidly grown in the past few years, and recent polling shows that a majority of Republican voters whopping support paid leave.
  • Several of the GOP candidates have acknowledge this is a problem. Instead of introducing plans that would increase the number of people who can take paid leave without losing their jobs, they’ve insisted on leaving it to the states and big corporations to make changes.
  • Marco Rubio’s sham policy, which makes companies’ participation in the program voluntary, perfectly illustrates that a Republican president will do nothing to help more Americans take paternity or maternity leave, or a paid absence from work to take care of a sick family member.

Paul Ryan’s insistence that he be able to spend time at home after being elected speaker of the House shows the GOP’s hypocrisy on the issue. It seems that just like so many other GOP policies, when it comes to paid leave, Republicans will help the most well-off and leave the middle and working class families to fend for themselves.

Background:

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES OPPOSE PAID LEAVE

Cruz

Cruz Opposed Laws Supporting Paid Sick Leave

2015: Cruz Voted Against Establishing Paid Sick Leave. In March 2015, Cruz voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would allow workers to earn paid sick leave.” The Senate agreed to the proposed amendment to its version of the FY 2016 budget resolution by a vote of 61 to 39, and subsequently passed the amended resolution. [Senate Vote 98, 3/26/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/26/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11; S. Con. Res. 11, 4/7/15]

Cruz: “I Think Maternity Leave And Paternity Leave Are Wonderful Things. I Support Them Personally, But I Don’t Think The Federal Government Should Be In The Business Of Mandating Them.” According to a video by the group Making It Work in Iowa, Cruz said, “I think maternity leave and paternity leave are wonderful things. I support them personally, but I don’t think the federal government should be in the business of mandating them.” [Making It Work In Iowa, 8/28/15]

Rubio

Did Not Believe Family Leave Should Be Mandatory

Rubio’s Did Not Believe The Government Should Require Federal Leave. In a Fusion op-ed Katie McDonough wrote, “Now here’s another essential part of the plan: it’s fully voluntary. Rubio doesn’t believe the government should require federal leave, and wants to leave it to the market to sort out.” ” [Fusion, 9/28/15]

Rubio Voted Against Requiring Paid Sick Leave

2015: Rubio Voted Against Establishing Paid Sick Leave. In March 2015, Rubio voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would allow workers to earn paid sick leave.” The Senate agreed to the proposed amendment to its version of the FY 2016 budget resolution by a vote of 61 to 39, and subsequently passed the amended resolution. [Senate Vote 98, 3/26/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/26/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11; S. Con. Res. 11, 4/7/15]

Rubio’s Paid Leave Plan Was Optional; Would Fail To Spur Much Expansion Of Paid Family Leave Policies

Rubio’s Plan Offered A 25 Percent Tax Credit To Employers Who Offered Their Employees A Minimum Of Four Weeks Of Paid Family Leave. In a Fusion op-ed Katie McDonough wrote, “Rubio’s plan would offer a 25% tax credit to employers who offer a minimum of 4 weeks of paid family leave. The maximum pay out per employee, to full-time and part-time workers, would be $4,000, and the maximum leave time would be 12 weeks. ‘For instance,’ Rubio explained, ‘if you are offered $1,600 in paid leave for four weeks while you take care of your newborn, which would be the equivalent of about $10 an hour, your employer could claim a tax credit for $400.’” [Fusion, 9/28/15]

Rubio’s Paid Family Leave Plan Was Voluntary. In a Fusion op-ed Katie McDonough wrote, “Now here’s another essential part of the plan: it’s fully voluntary. Rubio doesn’t believe the government should require federal leave, and wants to leave it to the market to sort out.” ” [Fusion, 9/28/15]

Bryce Covert: Rubio’s Plan “Might Entice” Some Companies On The Fence To Offer Paid Leave; But Such Enticements Already Exist And “Yet Haven’t Led To A Widespread Adoption Of Paid Family Leave.” In a New Republic op-ed Bryce Covert wrote, “Rubio’s plan probably won’t change this landscape. It might entice some companies that are on the fence about offering paid leave to make the switch and get a nice tax break in the process. But what he’s proposed wouldn’t cover the cost of providing leave on its own. A company would only get about one dollar back in tax benefits for every four dollars it has to spend on replacement wages for parents out on leave. Certainly there are benefits companies can reap that may make up for that outlay—the most important being a reduction in turnover, particularly among women, something that can come with a big price tag—but those already exist and yet haven’t led to a widespread adoption of paid family leave. Companies that currently feel they can’t afford to offer it, as well as those that aren’t in an arms race for talent like those in the technology sector, will probably choose to stick with what they already provide.” [New Republic, 9/29/15]

Rubio’s Plan Was Not “Portable,” Would Leave Workers Who Change Jobs Frequently “Most At Risk.” In a Fusion op-ed Katie McDonough wrote, “The other problem with Rubio’s plan: it isn’t portable. If you leave your job, something you’re more likely to do if you’re stitching together several part-time gigs, then you leave the benefit behind, too. ‘And think about the workers who are most at risk here, they do change jobs,’ Boyer said. Ultimately, she summarized the plan this way: ‘It’s not going to harm anyone, but it’s not really going to help anyone, either.” ” [Fusion, 9/28/15]

Bush

Bush Opposed Federal Paid Leave Laws

When Asked About His Stance Mandating Paid Maternity Leave, Jeb Bush Replied “That’s A State Decision. I Don’t Think We Need More Federal Rules.” According to ThinkProgress, “At a recent campaign stop in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush stood opposed to ensuring that American workers are offered paid family leave. After being asked by an activist with the pro-family leave group Make It Work about his stance on mandating paid maternity leave, he first replied, ‘That’s a state decision.’ When pressed, he added, ‘I don’t think we need more federal rules.’” [ThinkProgress, 10/13/15]

Supported Leaving Individual Businesses To Decide

Jeb Bush Spokesman Said Jeb Bush “Thinks Paid-Leave Policies Are Best Left To Businesses. Having The State Fund Paid-Leave Policies — That Would Be A Very Expensive Proposition.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush doesn’t think that’s a smart move, his spokesman said. ‘The unemployment insurance compensation fund is there to be a safety net for people who have lost their jobs,’ Justin Sayfie said. ‘He thinks paid-leave policies are best left to businesses. Having the state fund paid-leave policies — that would be a very expensive proposition.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/13/00]

Trump

Trump: Wary Of Paid Family Leave

Trump Said The U.S. Should Be “Careful Of” Paid Family Leave, In Order To Keep The U.S. Competitive. In an interview with Stuart Varney of Fox Business News, Varney asked Trump about paid family leave. Trump responded, “Well it’s something that’s being discussed, I think we have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it.” [9:00, Fox News, 10/21/15]

Kasich

Kasich Voted Against Family Medical Leave

1992: Kasich Voted Against Family Medical Leave Act. In 1992, Kasich voted against the Family Medical Leave Act, which required companies with more than 50 employees to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family emergencies. Employers would have to continue health care coverage and could not hire a permanent replacement. [S 5, Vote #390, 9/10/1992; Washington Times, 9/13/92]