As Ivanka Trump tries to craft a paid-family-leave plan that’s palatable to Congress, she’s also shopping around for Republicans to sponsor the bill. According to Politico, two top choices are Senators Marco Rubio and Deb Fischer, who were set to meet with the First Daughter on Tuesday.
Although both senators have backed paid-leave plans in the past, they differ from the White House’s proposal, which calls for six weeks of paid leave for mothers and fathers after the birth or adoption of a child, and would be financed by states’ unemployment-insurance programs. As a presidential candidate, Rubio unveiled a paid-leave plan that offered a 25 percent tax credit to businesses that voluntarily offered at least four weeks of paid leave, and Fischer recently reintroduced a bill that would give tax cuts to companies that offered paid leave.
“Obviously I like my approach,” Rubio said when reports first surfaced he was collaborating with Ivanka. “She has a different one, at least for now. I don’t think they’re inflexible about it.”
Based on other reports, it seems like he’s right — after meeting with the Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute representatives who presented their own paid-leave plan, “[Ivanka] said that [the current plan] was just a placeholder or a stake in the ground and they’re open to other ideas,” a Brookings scholar told the Associated Press.
The White House’s current paid-leave proposal was getting flack from both sides — “It’s not as generous as Democrats would like, and it’s an unfunded program, which Republicans don’t like,” a Republican economist told the AP. And getting the plan through Congress will be the first real test of Ivanka’s political chops. As Politico points out, her success will likely depend on which Republican she chooses to carry the bill — which is where “Little Marco” could come in handy.