During his joint address to Congress on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said that he wants to work on paid family leave and affordable child care.
In the audience of Trump’s address were many female legislators dressed in white — an act of protest against his record with women.
Despite this, Trump explained,
“My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave.”
While Trump was campaigning for the Oval Office, his daughter Ivanka repeatedly and openly pushed for a child care tax credit. According to Bloomberg, her proposal would reportedly cost an estimated $500 billion over 10 years.
However, the President’s lengthy and problematic track record with women remains at the forefront of this discussion. For example, he has been accused by upwards of a dozen women of sexual harassment and has hindered access to abortion overseas. Millions of women even took to the streets in protest the day after he was inaugurated. Furthermore, Trump is also almost always surrounded by men with the exception of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway. It should be noted that the last President to have so few women in his cabinet was Ronald Reagan.
The GOP has consistently failed to support attempts at paid family leave and progressive child care programs, despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed country without them. Since at least the 1970s, the GOP has opposed supporting day care, for instance, because it clashed with “family values.” Nixon even vetoed a bill that would’ve provided subsidized childcare.
During Trump’s speech, however, Republicans took a decidedly different approach in clapping in support of Trump’s proposal.
LOVED when Republicans clapped for paid family leave — which they have single-handedly BLOCKED for 8+ years. Oy. #JointAddress
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) March 1, 2017