President Donald Trump says he supports the paid family leave component to a defense bill, telling attendees at a summit on Thursday that its important for mothers to spend time with their newborn children.
“Were here today to support the heroic calling for working moms and dads—to really help them. Were going to help them. And were going to help them a lot. American families are the heart, soul, and backbone of our nation. Strong and loving families build up our neighborhoods, sustain our communities, invigorate our cities, pass down our values, and make a brighter future for every citizen,” Trump said at the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Leave in Washington.
“In everything we do, were putting the American families first. And frankly, were putting America first. But American families are coming first. With more women working today than ever before, we now have a historic opportunity to enact long-overdue reforms. Its time to pass Paid Family Leave and expand access to quality.”
Trump said the act would bring parents “expanded access to quality, affordable child care.”
“And thats something that could take a long time before it ever got done, but were going to get it done and were working with a lot of tremendous people, many of whom are in the room. And I want to thank you for that,” he said.
“An estimated one out of every four American moms returns to work within two weeks of giving birth because they cannot afford to miss a paycheck or risk losing their job. We want every mother to have the chance to spend those precious few weeks with her newborn or adopted child. And I understand, statistically—they show, statistically, its so much better for the baby in growing up, even in later years. I can imagine that.”
Tseyon Mamo was invited to speak by Trump. Mamo was working as a teacher in Kansas City, Missouri last year and also taking classes in early childhood education. With her husband also working, the family used childcare assistance put into place by the Child Care Development Block Grants that Trump signed last year.
“If we didnt have this support, we wouldnt have been able to afford daycare and I wouldnt have been able to work and go to school to become a teacher,” she said, thanking Trump.