Sen. Ernst (R-IA) working to build support for Cradle Act

Sen. Ernst (R-IA) working to build support for Cradle Act. (Source: Gray DC)
Sen. Ernst (R-IA) working to build support for Cradle Act. (Source: Gray DC)(GRAYDC)
Published: Jul. 2, 2019 at 12:45 PM CDT
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Social Security is set aside for older Americans to use when they retire.

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) says it could be used to pay for parents to stay home with their newborns.

Ernst said, “It is important for folks to recognize that they are paying into social security. So being able to borrow ahead from their retirement date in order to support their family is a pretty significant step forward I think for our nation.”

Ernst put the idea out there as a way to provide family leave without creating a new government program or adding to the national debt.

Parents would be able to receive payments for one, two, or three months then delay their benefits down the road.

Democrats like Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) say they’re not big on the idea because the money is meant to be there when someone is ready to retire.

Bustos said, “If you rob from that now when you’re younger, those dollars are going to be compromised when you need them most, when you’re not in a position to work anymore.”

Ernst says the plan would not hurt the Social Security program.

Ernst said, “I think it’s important that we continue this. This will be an extremely significant piece of legislation if we can get this over the finish line.”

The pushback is not only from Democrats, Rachel Greszler from the conservative Heritage Foundation says while the intention is good, the policy is not.

Greszler said, “Like what if we want to let students repay their student loans and tap social security earlier? What if we want young families to tap their benefits so they can buy a home? So, this would just become expansive over time.”

For now, the legislation is driving discussion on Capitol Hill as the authors work to find more support.

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