October 13, 2021
Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Senator Mitt Romney
354 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Thank you for your leadership on the critical issue of expanding access to paid leave benefits for new parents who struggle to take the time off they want and need after having or adopting a child. This is such an important issue for American families—and particularly working women.
Having access to paid leave benefits babies, women, families, and our country broadly. Taxpayers have an interest in this issue too: workers who lack paid leave benefits end up turning to government assistant programs, which puts pressure on federal, state, and local government budgets.
Your legislation, the New Parents Act, is such an important step in making existing safety net programs more modern and responsive to the needs of today’s workers—without further burdening taxpayers. And we are proud to see it incorporates many of our policy recommendations, which we have worked on and studied for years.
By giving workers the option to take some benefits from Social Security after having or adopting a child, in exchange for delaying their eligibility for retirement benefits to offset those costs, you give parents a lifeline and the financial support they need during this critical time period.
Importantly, unlike other paid leave proposals that require a new payroll tax, which means less money
in every worker’s paycheck every single time, your proposal only impacts those who choose to take the earned benefits. Employers would still have an incentive to offer private leave benefits, and workers would have an incentive to use their leave judiciously. Your proposal protects Social Security, by ensuring that the impact is budget neutral over the long-term, while making this important program more responsive to the needs of today’s workforce.
Flexibility. Compassion. Responsibility. Support. Fairness. These are the values at the heart of the New Parents Act. On behalf of Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice, as well as parents and taxpayers everywhere, thank you for advancing a commonsense solution that can help parents while being fair to all workers.
Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
President, Independent Women’s Forum