“We can’t just stare a problem in the face and not have a solution.”

Ernst Pushes Commonsense Plan to Provide Americans with Paid Parental Leave

WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks yesterday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) praised the Trump Administration for making paid parental leave a national priority, and outlined the conservative plan she has co-authored that would help achieve this goal.

“We are probably the last developed nation that does not have a national paid leave plan,” Ernst stated.  “So how do we address these issues, but do it in a conservative way?   Senator Mike Lee and I started discussions last year about how we could accomplish this.  We want it to be conservative. We need it to be family focused.  And we need to give parents a choice.  We don’t need to create a massive mandate through the federal government. So we’ve introduced a proposal that would provide a budget neutral paid parental leave plan.”

The plan is called the Child Rearing and Development Leave Empowerment (or CRADLE) Act.  Introduced by Senators Ernst and Lee as a working draft on March 12th, the CRADLE Act would allow both natural and adoptive parents to receive one, two, or three months of paid leave benefits by giving them the option to delay activating their Social Security benefits for two, four, or six months.  Expectant parents would simply fill out a form to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of their intention to take paid leave before an expected birth or adoption. Then, after the birth or adoption, the SSA would begin payments two weeks after parents applied for their baby’s Social Security number.

A full summary of the CRADLE Act can be found by clicking here.

In her remarks, Ernst commended the President for making paid leave a top priority of his Administration, and also praised the efforts of Ivanka Trump, as well.

“The President’s been really intent on getting this done,” the Iowa lawmaker declared.  “So I thank him.  And I thank his daughter, Ivanka, for working on this issue with us. It has been really important.”

Just as important, Ernst added, is the fact that Republicans are showing interest in an issue that will not only make a difference in the lives of working families, but in how the GOP is perceived.

“We saw a huge loss with suburban women and in Iowa with rural women,” she said, referring to the results of last fall’s election.  “They were finding that the Republican Party wasn’t meeting their needs, and so they were seeking other opportunities and other options.  And folks, we’ve got to overcome that.

“We can’t just stare a problem in the face and not have a solution.  What we want to do is step up, be at the table, look that problem in the face and come up with conservative solutions.  So that’s what we’re focusing on.”

To view the Senator’s comments about paid leave before The Ripon Society’s breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.