President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will require states to provide paid family leave programs.
The budget will call for funds to create a program that would grant mothers and fathers six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, two senior White House officials told reporters on Thursday on condition of anonymity to describe a program that has not yet been formally proposed.
The proposal is a departure from Republican orthodoxy.
The new budget details also focused heavily on the upcoming infrastructure package, one of Trump’s major campaign promises. Experts say that in order to balance the budget in ten years, the plan will likely have to assume tax rate cuts are largely offset by the elimination of deductions and exemptions that the administration so far hasn’t specified. The details of the program still must be negotiated with Congress, including how it will be funded, although states would be required to run their own programs. It also could mean that the benefits could vary greatly by location.
Now, the program is set to be expanded to include more workers after it was criticized for not being expansive enough.
Democrats are expected to support the mandatory paid family leave proposal, as they have in the past.
Republicans control both the Senate and House of Representatives, but were lukewarm to Trump’s initial “skinny budget” plan for fiscal 2018, released in March. The concept has wide public support, with 82% supporting paid maternity leave and 69%, paid paternity leave, according to Pew Research Center, Still, it remains to be seen how the idea will fare in Congress.
During the budget planning process, Ivanka Trump organized an interagency working group to meet on women and family issues. Gillibrand has said she would be happy to work together with Trump on a paid leave plan. Any federal budget item must be renewed annually and the establishment of an unpaid family leave program can always be cut at any point of ongoing budget negotiations, annually and throughout the year.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start program will maintain the same level of funding. For example, it calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to the Department of Education, which would come from eliminating at least 22 programs, including after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children (most from low-income families) and a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college.
And two health programs for women and children will get funding boosts.
Trump, who leaves on Friday for his first foreign trip, will miss the roll-out of his full budget.