Nov 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Congress' partisan divide on paid family leave

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Congressional Republicans have come around to supporting paid family leave policies, but their ideas differ greatly from Democratic proposals, a New York Times analysis shows.

The big picture: Democrats back creating a federal fund for new parents that would be financed with a payroll tax increase, while Republicans have proposed plans that would allow new parents to dip into their future federal benefits.

The big picture: Democrats introduced the Family Act in 2013, which would cover 12 weeks of partly paid leave for new parents (or workers who are seriously ill or injured) and would be financed by a 0.2% increase in payroll taxes on employers and employees.

  • Since its introduction, the bill has stalled in Congress because most Republicans refuse to back a tax increase.
  • Republicans have pitched multiple proposals. One would allow new parents to collect Social Security benefits early in exchange for receiving less money when they retire. Another lets people use pretax savings accounts to save for leave, and a third creates a tax credit for companies that voluntarily provide family leave.
  • Like their representatives, voters largely agree on paid leave but disagree on who should pay for it.

There is a bipartisan bill in both the House and Senate that is expected to be introduced in the next month. Under this plan, parents could withdraw $5,000 of their child tax credits after birth for paid leave or other infant care expenses, but they would collect a smaller credit in the future.

  • However, it's still unclear if this bill would see wide buy-in from Democrats.

Of note: President Trump was among the first Republican presidential candidates to call for paid leave in 2016. The White House's budget proposal would require states to provide at least six weeks of paid family leave to new parents, including adoptive parents.

  • The proposal gives states broad flexibility to determine how they finance the benefit.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details from the White House's budget proposal.

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Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.