The paid leave proposal exemplifies how the promise of Trump’s populism is bumping up against a conservative Republican Congress that supports few new domestic expenditures of any kind. The White House is promising the plan won’t add to the deficit as Trump plans to fund it by weeding out waste and fraud in the current unemployment insurance system. It is expected to cost about $25 billion over 10 years, and will benefit about 1.3 million people, according to White House officials who briefed reporters last week.
It is more expansive than an initial one Trump floated last fall during the campaign that came under fire for restricting paid leave to biological mothers. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, about 40 percent of private sector workers — about 43 million people — in the United States don’t get paid sick leave.
A March study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans largely support paid leave, while they are sharply divided over whether the government should require employers to fund it or let employers decide for themselves.
“With over 80% of Americans supporting paid family leave and a president, not to mention first daughter, who campaigned on the issue, you’d think this would be a no-brainer for Congress. But we’re talking about Congress,” said Golden. “The factions within the GOP complicate the effort, as with so many issues that have been driving internal divisions within the party,” he said.