What You Must Know Concerning the Republican Plan for Paid Household Go away

Paid family and sick leave is a policy so popular and utterly sensible that even the Grand Old Party seems to be getting on board. But “appears” can be the most important word. That’s because the Workers’ Paychecks and Family Choices Protection Act, a draft proposal by two senior Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee, despite its promise to expand access to this crucial benefit, does not offer any paid family vacation at all.

“Our package is built on the premise that strong economic growth is the foundation for ensuring flexible options for families through better jobs, lower unemployment and higher wages – not one-size-fits-all mandates that bring Washington under control and lower paychecks,” said Workers Kevin Brady, the senior Republican on the committee.

The problem with this is that paid family and sick leave is by and large a one-size-fits-all solution, as everyone should be able to take paid family and sick leave regardless of their work situation, income level, or gender.

This bill looks a lot more like nibbling on the edges with changes that benefit employers and employees. It’s a set of guidelines that many Republican boxes tick, like tax cuts and personal responsibility, and there are some nice things in it. But it is not a plan that will make universally paid family and sick leave a reality for American workers.

The GOP’s Paid Family and Sick Leave Plan explains

The bill would make the paid family and sick leave tax credit, which was originally part of former President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, permanent. The credit Companies that offer paid family and sick leave can receive reimbursement from the IRS between 12.5 and 25 percent of the wages they pay to workers on leave. This would also allow companies to add some administration costs to the loan base, thus increasing what they would receive without increasing the salary the employee receives while on vacation. Credit would gradually decrease over the first five years that an employer offered paid vacation, so that a company would not receive any subsidies at all by the sixth year.

Unfortunately, this tax credit doesn’t give companies that don’t currently offer paid vacation a greater incentive to do so. It is still up to them to pay most of the cost, and the fact that they do not receive tax credits for the sixth year and beyond diminishes the potential motivation of the tax credit for businesses that are not yet offering paid family and sick leave.

The bill also proposes a new structure, Family savings accountsThis would be a tax-privileged (i.e. untaxed) place for individuals to make contributions, and the government to cover those contributions, up to $ 1,000 per year for workers earning less than $ 50,000. Generous employers, state governments, and even nonprofits could also deposit funds into these accounts that they could use to pay for anything from school expenses to childcare, elderly care to wage replacement during periods of parental or medical leave.

Unfortunately, many low-income families cannot afford to keep $ 1,000 a year. This means that the neediest will not get the $ 1,000 match. The other sources of funding are all optional – there are and are only so many employers, states, and nonprofits that can and would fund these accounts. And being so flexible means that many parents are using those funds to pay for things like home care for older parents or tuition fees for older children, sacrificing their chance for paid family and sick leave across the board. Pushing people to make these tough decisions is the dire situation that a Paid Paid Family and Sick Leave Act would allow Americans to avoid.

The bill would make it easier for too small businesses banding together to pay for family paid vacations, something that is already allowed for disability insurance and other set benefits. That would make it easier and cheaper for employers to provide paid vacation, but it is not enough of an incentive to get a critical mass of employers to offer the benefit.

If this bill passed, Eligible, low-income parents could directly receive an existing childcare allowance as part of a partial wage replacement to stay at home with a baby instead of childcare. Only parents with work experience in the last four consecutive quarters would be entitled to the benefit, which essentially pays the parents a small amount of money to stay at home for the first 12 weeks after the birth of a child, provided, among other things, that: they do not receive paid vacation from any other source. This is a good thing in that it gives parents more choices about staying home, but it still doesn’t ensure that everyone can take time off after having a child or adopting them.

The proposal also includes the Law on Flexibility of Working Families, an existing resolution that alenables private employees to take compensatory time instead of cash for overtime wages (like many public employees) up to 160 hours per year. In essence, employers and employees could agree that overtime with paid time off is compensated for at least one and a half hours for each hour of overtime worked.

All of these provisions result in a law that offers some advantages to employers and employees whose companies already offer paid family and sick leave, but not enough to achieve what needs to be the guiding star in these efforts: guaranteed paid family and sick leave for every American worker regardless of his income level.

The GOP plan for childcare

Brady’s bill, which he introduced with Rep. Jackie Walorski, would also change existing childcare laws. It would allow Employers must apply for a tax credit for subsidizing off-site and supportive childcare for employees and Increase the reimbursement of this small employer loan from 25 percent to 50 percent.

It would too Reduce the amount parents would receive for childcareA move that Republicans claim would prevent them from falling off the “childcare cliff” by encouraging them to “gradually increase their income towards independence,” which is magical thinking at best. (Given that childcare can cost as much as tuition in a four-year public college, financial independence is not the problem. The lack of affordable childcare is.)

States would also need to spend 100% of the eligibility share of a certain federal childcare block grant on childcare allowances to achieve this Increase in parental choice of providers, including belief-based providers. Aside from constitutional concerns about giving government money for religion classes, the plan limits what states can do with the money they have received. This is an interesting move for the party, which is constantly deciphering the power of the federal government. And if you talk about federal funding, so would it Redistribute $ 633 million increase in childcare entitlements under the American Rescue Plan Act for each state based on the number of children under the age of 13 in poverty compared to other states.

It would too Refresh existing flexible spending accounts for dependent careThis allows parents to triple the current limit, to extend the funds from year to year and to expand the list of eligible expenses and maximum dependent age from 13 to 15 years. Again, however, this does not apply to those who do not earn enough to save money on an account like this, so only higher earners actually benefit from a tax cut on those who use those accounts.

It is also calling for a commission to be set up to report recommendations on streamlining ECI funding and education, and for the HHS secretary to report to Congress on state childcare regulations to reduce costs. These provisions are likely to be a code of austerity regulations which, given the stakes, seems rather ill-advised.

Finally, the bill would allow states to spend unallocated dollars from the $ 24 billion fund created by the American Rescue Plan to help stabilize childcare. This includes money for family childcare providers, improving childcare facilities, and grants for employers to start and expand childcare programs for employees.

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