Second GOP Paid Leave Bill Tapping Social Security Introduced

March 29, 2019

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have introduced the New Parents Act, which builds upon previous proposed bills to use Social Security benefits as a funding source.

The bill (S. 920), which is similar to the CRADLE Act by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT), would give new parents the option to draw a portion of their future Social Security benefits to finance paid parental leave for one, two, or three months, in exchange for delaying their retirement by about six months or receiving a reduced Social Security benefit for the first five years after retirement.

The bill is different from the CRADLE Act in that the benefit would be transferable between spouses and available to both working and stay-at-home parents, according to Sen. Rubio.

None of the paid leave proposals in Congress provide any form of relief from the patchwork of state and local paid sick leave laws.

Takeaway: The issue of paid family leave is becoming a bipartisan priority in Washington, increasing chances for a long-term bipartisan solution.  However, given the significantly different proposals from the two parties, it is unclear whether any one approach will gain momentum in the current Congress.