(Bloomberg) — Ivanka Trump helped introduce her father’s child care, elder care and paid maternity leave plan in suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday, leaving little doubt that she was a driving force behind the proposal.
“As an employer, mother and woman who works both inside and outside of the home, these are topics that I consider of critical importance,” Ivanka Trump said during an eight-minute introduction of the Republican presidential nominee. “The policy my father is about to outline is one that I’m proud to have helped conceptualize. And ensuring its enactment will be one of my priorities when he’s elected come November.”
One part of Trump’s plan would create a new dependent care savings account program. A family that set up a DCSA could use it to set aside money for their children. A family also could use the account to save for care for aging parents or other adult dependents.
Through changes in companies’ unemployment insurance policies, another part of Trump’s plan would guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave to employees whose firms don’t offer leave already, his campaign said.
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Speaking in Aston, Pennsylvania, which sits in the only reliable Republican county in suburban Philadelphia, the mother of three portrayed child care as an issue that has traditionally been overlooked in policy discussions and said her father’s plan “recognizes and supports” mothers and women who’ve left work to care for elderly relatives.
Child-care costs have indeed outpaced rent and tuition in most U.S. states. The nation is the third-most expensive for child care among 34 countries, according to 2012 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“I recognize that far too women could say the same for themselves and that I am more fortunate than most,” she said. “Safe, affordable high-quality child care should not be the luxury of a fortunate few.”
About two-thirds of Donald Trump’s tax plan would be offset by the increases in economic activity that accompany pro-growth tax changes, better trade deals, regulatory and immigration changes, and fewer restrictions on the energy industry, the campaign said.
The billionaire’s pitch to working parents comes as the race has tightened in recent weeks, particularly in so-called Rust Belt states including Pennsylvania and Ohio where Trump has sought to focus on economic malaise. A RealClearPolitics average of national polling on Tuesday showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leading 45.8 percent to 43.4 percent, a gap that stood at nearly 8 percentage points on Aug. 9.
Trump’s plan would “allow a family to make the choice of whether a parent should work outside the home or not without bias from the tax code,” and would “ensure stay-at-home parents receive the same tax deduction as working parents, offering compensation for the job they’re already doing,” the campaign said in a statement.