A detailed budget proposal coming from the Trump administration next week is expected to offer not just paid maternity leave for biological mothers after the birth of a child, but six weeks of paid family leave for fathers and adoptive parents as well, The Washington Post reports.
An early proposal initially floated last September would have only qualified biological mothers for paid leave, but Democrats criticized it heavily. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has since headed a working group on family leave and she is expected to be central to the discussions, even as the Republican Party has traditionally opposed such measures.
The proposal calls for states to individually run paid leave programs if they don’t have one in place already (only California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey do, with New York and D.C. having approved measures that go into effect in 2018). “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. “Trump is the first Republican in the White House to talk about this, so he could get some bipartisan support.”
Six weeks of paid family leave is significantly less than what is offered by most other developed countries, although as things stand now, the United States is the only developed county that does not guarantee mothers or fathers a single day of paid leave. Jeva Lange