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Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Paid Parental Leave Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst Tuesday would let parents wait longer to retire if they decide to take paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

Ernst and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah call the bill the “Cradle Act.” Under the act, parents could take up to three months of paid leave after a birth or adoption. Those three months would be paid out Social Security instead of being paid by an employer. For each month of pay a parent takes, they would have to wait an extra two months to collect Social Security benefits for retirement.

For example, if a mother of four took three months leave for each of her children, she would have to wait two years after retiring to receive Social Security benefits.

Ernst says she hopes the bill starts a conversation on funding paid leave outside of employers.

Democrats say the plan penalizes parents and does nothing to address paid leave to take care of elderly parents or paid medical leave.

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