Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney Teaming Up Again on Parental Leave Proposal

This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced plans to bring back the “New Parents Act.”

According to the senators’ offices, the bill “creates a voluntary option for paid parental leave by allowing new parents to use a portion of their Social Security after the birth or adoption of a child” and “provides parents the flexibility to use their benefits in a way that works best for their household by allowing parents to combine their leaves, or transfer them to one parent.”

“Our economic policies need to reflect our values, and right now far too many young, working families are falling behind,” Rubio said this week. “We can support working and stay-at-home moms and dads alike without raising taxes or expanding federal bureaucracy. Our New Parents Act would give young families much-needed flexibility in how they choose to use their money and support their family.”

“American families are facing greater financial strain, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and marriage and birth rates are at an all-time low,” Romney said. “In Utah, and throughout the United States, a majority of working parents do not get paid when they take time off from work after the birth or adoption of a child, which can mean depleted savings, credit card debt, and student loan defaults. We are reintroducing the New Parents Act in order to give parents the flexibility to take time off from work with pay during the first weeks of their children’s lives, without growing our national debt, raising taxes, or creating a new entitlement program.”

Rubio and Romney first championed the bill in 2019. Over in the U.S. House, the bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo.

Back in 2019, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., who is seeking to challenge Rubio in 2022, told Florida Daily she opposed the proposal.

“Yet more evidence that the GOP sees Social Security as expendable,” Demings told Florida Daily. “It’s not. It’s an insurance policy that we pay into to keep seniors out of poverty. It’s not paid family leave if you have to raid your future income to pay for it. Every other developed country in the world has paid family leave. Americans should have that same guaranteed benefit for the world’s greatest workforce.”

KEVIN DERBY
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