Ivanka Trump Might Have Helped Shape Part Of The Federal Budget Plan

Cheryl Sanders
May 21, 2017

Officials told the Washington Post that the paid leave program is expected to cost about $25 billion a year and benefit some 1.3 million people. There is no proposed income limit, but high earners would have their benefits capped.

Under the newest proposal, fathers and adoptive parents would also qualify for the financial relief, which would be paid through the country's unemployment insurance system.

That proposal last September - while a break from the traditional Republican position on paid leave - restricting the benefit to biological mothers, provoked a backlash from Democrats and gender equality activists. She encouraged her father to include mandatory paid maternity leave in his campaign platform. This outline makes the plan far more inclusive than the original family leave idea Trump touted during his election campaign, which excluded fathers.

As of today, workers in the United States can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after a birth, as long as they've worked at a company that employs at least 50 people for a year. A recent study found an estimated quarter of breadwinning moms return to work two weeks after giving birth, regardless of if they're ready.

Trump has long pledged a $1 trillion, 10-year plan to modernize USA roads, bridges, airports, the electrical grid and water systems, but has so far been vague on how much of the spending would come from the federal government. Republicans have generally been against such initiatives. "It's a major step forward, and it's better than zero, which is what parents are guaranteed now", the program director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Jeffrey Hayes, said.

While Trump can propose programs, Congress ultimately controls spending and rarely approves White House budget plans as proposed.

The administration also noted some other budget items aimed at women and families. Two health programs for women and children will receive increased funding: The The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant will receive an additional $30 million, while Healthy Start another $10 million.

During the budget planning process, Ivanka Trump organized an interagency working group to meet on women and family issues. Democrats have proposed more expansive programs with different funding streams. It would cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, while funneling $400 million to charter schools and private and religious schools through vouchers.

The official requested anonymity to discuss budget details in advance. Trump floated a $1 trillion infrastructure plan in October, and his budget proposal shows that a majority of that sum will depend on the private sector and state and city governments. Other programs - such as the Obama administration's Promise Neighborhoods, which is meant to support kids in needy communities - would remain, but see their funding slashed.

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