WASHINGTON – Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La) today discussed their bipartisan paid parental proposal with leading experts. Sinema and Cassidy joined the directors of the AEI-Brookings Paid Family Leave Working Group to discuss their proposal and answer audience questions.
Sinema and Cassidy recently unveiled their first-of-its-kind bipartisan paid parental leave plan that allows families to receive support after the birth or adoption of a new child to finance time off of work, offset the cost of infant care, or both. Their legislation allows parents to advance $5,000 from their Child Tax Credit and gives them the flexibility to decide how to use the benefit.
“Too often, parents are forced to choose between losing time with a new child or taking on debt to make up for lost wages,” said Sinema. “Arizona families deserve better. Our bipartisan bill represents an important first step, offering parents a new option to finance time off of work or help pay for childcare.”
The Senators’ plan is bipartisan, does not increase taxes, creates no new entitlements, includes no new mandates on employers, and does not impact Social Security. The new parental benefit offered by the Senators’ proposal would be optional, with decisions made entirely by new parents. For instance, parents who already receive paid leave through their employer or state could continue to do so, forgoing the new benefit and continuing to receive their full yearly Child Tax Credit. Low-income families that do not qualify for the full, refundable Child Tax Credit could, under the Senators’ bipartisan plan, claim a benefit adjusted to 100 percent wage replacement for 12 weeks of work. For those families, the proposal also extends the 10-year repayment schedule to 15 years.