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Paid family leave legislation could be led by Democrats, Ivanka Trump says

Ivanka Trump on her future in Washington
Ivanka Trump on her future in Washington 04:29

Washington — With the impeachment of President Trump dividing Capitol Hill, at least one policy has garnered collaboration between lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Championed by White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, paid family leave policies are gaining traction in Congress, and legislation providing the benefit to American families has been one area of agreement between the White House and Democrats.

"The way I look at it is that the debate had grown stale," Trump said in an interview with "Face the Nation" that aired Sunday. "If we want to deliver relief to working parents who need this, we need to come up with fresh, new solutions. So we've been working with Republicans, with Democrats on proposing alternatives."

Trump, the president's eldest daughter, said legislation ensuring paid leave "definitely could be" led by Democrats, and said progress on the issue is the result of "several years" of discussion among both parties.

"What has become incredible is that people aren't debating anymore whether or not paid family leave is good policy," she said. "They're debating what's the best policy."

Much of Trump's work in the White House has been focused on paid family leave policies and boosting investment in apprenticeship and skill-building programs. She scored a victory earlier this month when Congress passed an annual defense authorization bill that provided all federal workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave. 

Mr. Trump signed the defense measure during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland last week, with Ivanka Trump in attendance.

While the provision included in the legislation focused specifically on government employees, Trump said the "goal is to ensure that paid leave is available to all Americans."

"It's been the course of two and a half years of building our coalitions of support for this policy," she said. "But we have made more progress on paid family leave than in the 25 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act was passed."

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