Facebook Twitter

Opinion: Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposed paid leave plan is ‘neither paid nor leave’

Republican Florida Sen. Rubio has a paid leave plan that doesn’t help the families who need it most

SHARE Opinion: Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposed paid leave plan is ‘neither paid nor leave’
Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla.speaks in front of the press.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has a paid leave plan that allows parents to use their social security funds.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

Despite Patrick Brown’s claims in his op-ed “Critics say the right only cares about fetuses. They’re not paying attention,” the problem isn’t that voters aren’t paying attention, it’s that they see what’s offered from the right as disingenuous and harmful.

For example, Sen. Marco Rubio’s paid leave proposal which Utah’s senators endorse, is neither paid nor leave — it’s a scheme forcing parents to tap into their Social Security funds, cutting their own future retirement benefits. This doesn’t provide actual relief to families, it penalizes them. It applies only to new parents, even though three-quarters of people who use FMLA leave must do so for their own health or to care for family members.

The problem isn’t people not paying attention. The problem is that proposals like Rubio’s are not serious and do nothing to provide relief to families. Perhaps that’s why fewer than 1 in 10 voters and only 2% of Republicans support them.

Real and inclusive paid leave policies, like the one which passed the U.S. House last year, are enormously popular with Americans. If Sen. Rubio and Utah’s senators are committed to helping families, we welcome their support for a real paid leave proposal that genuinely does just that.

Dawn Huckelbridge

Washington, D.C.