Donald Trump will call for six weeks of paid maternity leave for new mothers in a Tuesday policy address, breaking with GOP orthodoxy. The GOP presidential nominee will outline the policy as part of a speech sketching out his child care plans as Trump reaches out to female voters.
“Our plan … creates a bipartisan solution to the issue of maternity leave,” a Trump aide said on a Tuesday campaign call with reporters.
“Our campaign is about getting things done for the American people, and we believe we’ve found a solution on paid maternity leave that could get very broad, bipartisan support and be completely self-financing.”
The campaign said new mothers will receive unemployment benefits for six weeks paid for by eliminating fraud in unemployment insurance, describing the maternity leave as a “safety net” for new mothers.
Trump has struggled to win over female voters, including the bloc of married women that have long backed the Republican Party. A CNN/ORC poll released earlier this month found Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leading among women by a margin of 52 percent to 38 percent. In 2012, President Obama led Mitt Romney by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
Republicans have not embraced calls from Democrats for paid leave. Democratic efforts to mandate paid sick leave or maternity leave fizzled out last year with little bipartisan support.
Trump’s Tuesday night speech in Pennsylvania will be devoted to a deeper explanation of his child care plan, which has been crafted with significant input by Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. The event is closed to the public, so it won’t have the raucous feel of a typical Trump rally. The more reserved ambiance comes as the campaign looks to display a more serious tone.
The plan’s centerpiece has already been announced: rewriting the tax code to allow families to deduct childcare expenses. The campaign is fleshing out more details ahead of Trump’s speech.
The total cost will be capped at the average child care costs in each state, while the highest-earning Americans — individuals making $250,000 per year or households with a combined $500,000 per year in income — won’t be eligible.
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SOURCE: The Hill, Ben Kamisar