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Trump Calls For Paid Maternity Leave

In a break from the 2016 GOP platform, Republican nominee Donald Trump will propose a plan to grant six weeks of paid maternity leave to new mothers.

Providing paid leave to new families has been a policy issue advocated by both Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump will propose the policy during a speech outlining his child care plans in Pennsylvania on Sept. 13, The Hill reports.

“Our plan… creates a bipartisan solution to the issue of maternity leave,” a Trump campaign aide told reporters.

The Trump campaign has hinted that their plan will provide unemployment benefits to new mothers for up to six weeks after their child’s birth.

The plan would be financed by cutting out fraud in unemployment insurance, although the Trump campaign has not specified what criteria they would use to root out wasteful benefit payments.

“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 Trump aide added.

The key policy proposal of Trump’s child care plan will be a rewriting of the U.S. tax code to enable families to deduct childcare expenses. The deductions would be capped at the average state cost of rearing a child while individuals making $250,000 annually and households making $500,000 annually will be excluded.

The plan would also offer deductions for stay-at-home parents. The Trump aide concluded, "We want to end the economic punishment for motherhood in the United States of America -- we believe that our plan makes great strides at doing so."

The Republican Party has been historically against the policy proposal, with nearly all GOP House lawmakers voting against a 2009 bill that would have provided paid parental leave to federal employees, according to TIME Money.

The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, told CNN in November 2015 that he could not support expanding paid parental leave, describing the policy as an “unfunded mandate.”

Trump himself has been previously skeptical of mothers in the workforce. In the 1990’s, the business mogul said that pregnant women were an inconvenience to businesses, according to New York Magazine. Trump has also previously stated “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.”

The issue of pay equity and leveling the playing field for mothers and families has been very important to Ivanka Trump. The GOP nominee’s daughter reportedly has had a significant amount of input into his child care plan.

During the Republican National Convention in July, Ivanka contradicted the GOP platform, which does not call for pay equity or paid parental leave, when she stated “Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties; they should be the norm.”

Trump’s new child care plan also attempts to steal Clinton’s thunder. The Democratic nominee has proposed capping child care expenses for all American families at only 10 percent of household income and raising the salaries of child care workers.

Ever since her 2000 Senate campaign in New York, Clinton has repeatedly called for paid parental leave and universal preschool, framing the issues as central to her political career, according to The Atlantic.

The Trump campaign aide dismissed Clinton’s plan, telling reporters, "Mrs. Clinton doesn’t have a single idea or a fresh concept about anything."

Sources: The AtlanticCNNThe Hill, New York MagazineTIME Money / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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