GOP Senate candidate who supported paid family leave under Trump opposes it under Biden


'That doesn't sound like something that I see in the Constitution,' Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) said when asked about national paid parental leave.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) claimed last week that laws to ensure paid parental leave are not within the federal government's constitutional purview. But six years ago, she backed then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's parental leave proposals.

During an appearance last Monday on KRMS, a conservative talk radio station in Missouri, a caller asked Hartzler about her previous support for legislation to provide paid leave for new parents.

"You were brought onstage, I believe during Donald Trump's administration, that you were helping some legislation to determine paid or some sort of maternity leave, for also I think fathers," the caller said. "You mentioned earlier there's only a few things the federal government should do. Is that one of those things?"

"No, I don't see much of a role there," Hartzler responded. "That doesn't sound like something that I see in the Constitution."

The caller seemed to be referring to a September 2016 Trump campaign event in Aston, Pennsylvania, at which the presidential candidate and his daughter Ivanka Trump unveiled a proposal to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave.

Hartzler was one of a group of Republican congresswomen who joined Trump on the stage in support of the plan.

"We're joined tonight by some amazing members of Congress in our audience," Trump said before introducing Hartzler along with Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Diane Black (TN), and Renee Ellmers (NC). "Come on up here. Just come up. Come on. They worked so hard on this."

Hartzler then tweeted a photo from the rally and wrote, "Ivanka introduced her father. Addressing work/family issues is a passion-she helped develop these policy solutions."

A Hartzler spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Studies have shown paid leave protections help people, especially women, stay in the workforce. But many Americans have no access to it, even after giving birth to a child. Polls have shown that the vast majority — two-thirds — of Americans support adding such protections nationally.

Trump's modest parental leave proposal was one of many of his campaign promises that were never fulfilled, even with a GOP House and Senate majority for the first two years of his presidency.

Last year, President Joe Biden proposed guaranteeing up to four weeks of paid leave for all new parents and caregivers as part of his Build Back Better plan. Like every other House Republican, Hartzler voted no on the package.

After spending most of her political career leading the charge against LGBTQ rights and abortion rights, Hartzler announced last June that she would seek the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Roy Blount (R-MO). She faces several other GOP candidates in the primary for the nomination.

On her campaign website, Hartzler claims she fights "for commonsense solutions to protect religious liberty, life, and families."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.