Thank you. I want to applaud my daughter, Ivanka, for her work and leadership on the issues facing working moms in our country. She has been deeply invested in this since long before the campaign began, and I am so grateful for her work and efforts on this proposal which I will be outlining today.
I want to also take a moment to recognize Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and a mother of three small children, who has been such a leader on these issues.
We are also joined tonight by some amazing members of Congress in our audience: Congresswoman Blackburn, Lummis, Black, and Ellmers.
Our campaign is about ideas. We're about solutions. I've travelled all over the country in recent weeks offering detailed plans to make life better for you and your family.
I've outlined detailed proposals for providing school choice, reforming our tax and regulatory code, lifting restrictions on American energy, rebuilding our military, changing our foreign policy, fixing our immigration policy, and keeping our country safe.
Right now, our politicians have locked our country into endless fights about small and petty things. I'm asking the nation to lift our sights, and to imagine what we can accomplish if we work together, trust each other, and put the needs of our own citizens first.
We must break our ties with the failed and bitter politics of the past and pursue a future where every American is honored and respected.
We have to reject the arrogance of Washington D.C. that looks down on everyday hardworking people. Too often those who have power have disdain for the views, beliefs and attitudes of those who don't have political power.
Those in leadership must put themselves in the shoes of the laid-off factory worker, the family worried about security, or the mom struggling to afford childcare.
That means we need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids.
We want higher pay, better wages, and a growing economy for everyone.
These solutions must update laws passed more than half a century ago when most women were still not in the labor force. Today, nearly 2 in 3 mothers with young children have jobs.
For many families in our country, childcare is now the single largest expense – even more than housing.
Yet, very little meaningful policy work has been done in this area – and my opponent has no childcare plan.
Many Americans are just one crisis away from disaster – a sick kid, a lost job, a damaged home. There is no financial security.
But that will all change under our pro-family, pro-child, pro-worker plans I am outlining tonight. Before going any further, I want everyone watching on TV right now to go to DonaldJTrump.com to read the full plan.
The first part of my childcare plan allows every parent or family in America – including adoptive parents and foster parent guardians – to deduct their childcare expenses from their income taxes.
They will be able to fully deduct the average cost of child care for their state, from birth through the age of 13.
Because of the way the benefit is capped and structured, our plan will bring relief to working and middle class families.
The deduction also applies to elder care, capped at a $5,000-dollar deduction per year.
Importantly, our policy also supports mothers who choose to stay at home, and honors and recognizes their incredible contributions
to their families and to our society. Families with a stay-at-home parent will be able to fully deduct the average cost of child care from their taxes.
For low-income individuals who have no net income tax liability, we will offer an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in the form of a childcare rebate. Working parents can get an expanded EITC benefit that equals up to half of their total payroll tax – a major relief for low-income parents. This translates to as much as an extra $1,200 dollars in EITC benefits for working families.
Next, our plan allows every parent in America to open up a Dependent Care Savings Account. Families can contribute up to $2,000 dollars a year to these accounts completely tax-free. Crucially, unlike the flexible spending accounts that exist today, these accounts will be available to all Americans – you won't have to depend on your employer to provide them.
Immediate family and employers can also contribute to a dependent account, each of which is designated for a specific child, including an unborn child.
The money that is put into these accounts can also be spent not only on child care, but also child enrichment activities. Additionally, the funds in these accounts do not expire at the end of the year – they don't revert to employers or to the Treasury. Instead, the funds rollover – so while only $2,000 dollars can be contributed each year, unspent sums can accumulate and create substantial savings.
These savings can then be used by parents to help give their kids school choice, and will thus contribute to the school choice reforms
I outlined last week.
The funds will remain in the account until the age of 18. Whatever still remains at that time can be used to help offset the costs of higher education.
For low-income individuals, the federal government will provide matching funds – if parents contribute $1,000 dollars, the federal government will provide a $500 dollars match. To help low-income families reach these targets and save money, we will put a box on federal income tax forms allowing these parents to have their Earned Income Tax Credit funds directly deposited into their Dependent Care Savings Accounts.
These Dependent Care Savings Accounts can also be set-up to provide care for elderly dependents.
Our plan also includes much needed regulatory reform to incentivize private sector solutions. The new funds offered by our plan will create a new market for innovative childcare solutions.
But to make sure these solutions are available, especially in low-income and rural communities, we must reduce regulations that favor large institutional care facilities. We will allow the states to make the decisions that are right for them.
In this era of the sharing economy, we want parents to be able to access lower-cost, competitive and innovative solutions at the click of a button – including services like nanny-sharing. Our plan would also cover care provided by relatives and grandparents.
Our plan includes incentives for more employers to offer on-site childcare as well. This can often be a good solution for many working parents, and can save them up to 30 minutes of commute time. Currently, only 7% of employers provide these services. Our plan will expand tax deductions for employers, allow companies to pool resources to provide shared childcare services, and remove needless requirements that have prevented employers from using the credit.
Finally, our plan offers a crucial safety net for working mothers whose employers do not provide paid maternity leave. This solution will receive strong bipartisan support, and will be completely self-financing. By recapturing fraud and improper payments in the unemployment insurance program, we can provide 6 weeks of paid-maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit. This maternity leave will be paid straight out of the unemployment insurance fund and, again, this safety net will be completely paid-for through savings within the program.
There are more reforms and solutions in our childcare plan, and you can review them all on the website.
On Thursday, I will outline my full economic plan, which is completely paid for through economic growth and proposed federal budget savings. Together, our tax, trade, regulatory, and energy policies will add trillions in new deficit-lowering growth.
These are the kinds of solutions I want to bring to the White House as your President. It's time to free ourselves from the baskets that politicians try to put us in, and instead to work together – not as Republicans or Democrats – but as Americans, to achieve real, positive results for the American people.
While my opponent slanders you as deplorable and irredeemable, I call you, hard-working American Patriots who love your country, love
your families, and want a better future for all Americans.
It's time to end the rule of special interests, and to begin the rule of the American people.
It's time to stop fighting over the smallest words, and to start dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead.
It is time to Believe In America.
Together, We Will Make Our Country Strong Again.
We Will Make Our Country Prosperous Again.
And Will Make Our Country Great Again For Everyone.