Rubio unveils paid family leave plan

(Prezography photo)

(Prezography photo)

By Bob Eschliman


This morning at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC, Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled a new proposal to encourage paid family leave in America without government mandates.

“I believe we can fix this problem by creatively applying our free enterprise principles in a way that encourages businesses to choose to offer more paid family leave,” he told those in attendance. “To do this, I will provide a limited, 25-percent, non-refundable tax credit to any business that offers between four and 12 weeks of paid leave. For instance, if you are offered $1,600 in paid leave for four weeks while you take care of your newborn, which would be the equivalent of about $10 an hour, your employer could claim a tax credit for $400.”

Rubio acknowledged his plan wouldn’t solve every scheduling conflict for working families, but said no policy could. However, he said it would help ensure Americans “don’t have to sit behind a desk while the most profound moments of their lives pass them by.” He said the plan would also help businesses expand and create new jobs by allowing them to keep more of their revenue, rather than sending it to Washington.

“Conservatives are already fighting hard on this issue,” he added. “Senator Deb Fischer has been a leader on family leave reform, and I’m glad to join her efforts as one way to address the problem. Unfortunately, our current president prefers not to sign legislation that is commonsense, so these efforts will likely be something I need to take up as president.”

Rubio’s proposal is part of a broader effort he says will strengthen middle class families and grow the economy. He also has supported proposals to expand workplace flexibility by allowing employers to provide workers with a choice between receiving monetary compensation or comp time for working overtime.

His tax reform proposal would create an additional $2,500 Child Tax Credit to provide relief to middle-class families and eliminate the marriage penalty on the federal income tax. It also would cut taxes for businesses of all sizes with a new maximum corporate rate of 25 percent. His campaign says the non-partisan Tax Foundation evaluated the plan and said it would “create millions of full-time jobs, increase investment, grow the economy, and boost wages.”