ASTON, Pennsylvania — Donald Trump on Tuesday filled in the details of the childcare affordability plan he floated at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland over the summer. He did so with his daughter Ivanka Trump, an energizing force behind the policy, and behind him.
Trump’s plan allows for a federal income tax deduction of childcare expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents. It is capped at the average cost of care in the state and is available in single-income households making up to $250,000 and $500,000 in joint-income households. Further, it guarantees six weeks of paid maternity leave, paid out of the unemployment insurance fund, to women whose companies don’t provide the benefit.
Ivanka introduced her father, speaking passionately about the need to ameliorate the burdens of childcare costs. “This is not a women’s issue,” she said. “It’s a family issue, it’s an American issue.”
Minutes later, the GOP nominee took the stage and predicted that this plan would “make a lot of moms very happy."
While Trump spent the majority of his time on stage laying out his policy specifics, he also took a chance to swipe at Hillary Clinton. "It’s time to free ourselves from the baskets that politicians try to put us in,” Trump said to applause. “And instead to work together — not as Republicans or Democrats — but as Americans, to achieve real, positive results for the American people.”
Trump also falsely claimed that Clinton did not have a childcare policy — and that if she did it would be “all talk no action.” Clinton’s policy for early childhood education is featured on her website.
At one point, Trump was joined on stage by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Diane Black (R-MD) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC). Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-OR), who applauded the speech in a statement after it ended, was given a shout out by Trump but did not attend the speech in person. It was a rare overture to Congressional members of the nominee's party, a sign that the candidate could be trying to embrace his colleagues on Capitol Hill and involve them more in the policy making process.
When the speech ended, Trump worked the crowd, shaking hands and eventually coming upon a baby who he held and hoisted, Lion King style, in the air for the crowd to see.