A good thing or a bad thing?
Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday called for expanding the 1993 Family & Medical Leave Act – a central part of President Bill Clinton’s initial agenda upon taking office – to allow more American parents to spend more time with their families in need.
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Rubio said he wants to shore up the 23-year-old law because it has grown ‘insufficient’ for modern times.
Rubio reminded the audience that his parents were both born to poor families in Cuba, and only came to America after their marriage in 1956.
‘One of the reasons I am so privileged is that I was born to two parents who were able to be a constant presence in the lives of their children,’ Rubio said.
Rubio wants to offer businesses a 25 percent tax credit for offering employees paid leave instead of unpaid time off
‘This was an enormous advantage for me growing up. And that’s why now that I’m a parent, I struggle with the demands of the public life that I’ve chosen.’
‘It pains me anytime I have to miss a volleyball practice or a football game or a field trip because of work.’
‘This struggle is not unique to me. It’s a problem that almost every parent in America faces.’
The Family & Medical Leave Act currently requires employers offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave to workers with family or health issues, such as a new-born child or an elderly parent.
Rubio said that has become ‘insufficient because taking unpaid leave is simply not a viable financial option for many Americans.’
His plan would offer business a limited, 25 percent, non-refundable tax credit if they offer employees four to 12 weeks of paid leave instead of unpaid leave.
If an employee is offered $1,600 in paid leave for a four-week period of leave, for example, their employer could claim a $400 tax credit.
Paying for the plan by raising taxes or increasing ‘crippling’ requirements on the private sector, Rubio said, is ‘outdated’ thinking supported by Democrats.
‘This won’t solve every scheduling conflict between work and family life,’ Rubio said. No policy can.’