INDIANAPOLIS– As the Biden administration pushes the American Families Plan, some Hoosiers lawmakers question whether it’s a federal overreach.
“I think it’s time to hit pause,” said Republican State Sen. Andy Zay.
While he said he appreciates the partnership with the federal government, the American Families Plan is too much too fast.
“I would love for the federal government to get back in their domain of managing our defense, managing world affairs and playing a key role in that,” explained Sen. Zay.
He believes each state should consider what’s best for its area, saying this plan is encouraging a one-size-fits-all approach.
“There could be a healthy debate about what is a state responsibility versus the federal government,” admitted Democratic State Sen. Fady Qaddoura. “But after almost 50-75 years of not making significant progress on these major policies, I think there is a role for the federal government to come up with a standard policy that applies across the country and take politics away from the local or the state level.”
When it comes to the plan’s intention to create a national paid family program, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has concerns.
“The Indiana Chamber has a fairly long standing position against mandates, and we kind of see this as a mandate because there is always a cost to employers in some manner or another,” said Indiana Chamber of Commerce Health and Employment Law Vice President Micheal Ripley.
The chamber feels paid leave should be optional for employers, but it does not oppose incentivizing it.
“I think the paid leave, it should be a human right,” argued Sen. Qaddoura.
There are also concerns about how much this plan will cost and who will foot the bill.
“Someone has to pay for that. They are going to have to increase taxes somewhere,” said Ripley. “So, those are probably going to be on folks that have bigger incomes and corporations. We have some concerns about that as well.”
Sen. Qaddoura said he doesn’t support tax hikes. However, he wants the tax system to be fair and believes this plan will accomplish that.
“Our economy grows when we invest in hard, working class family and the middle class. That’s how we grow our economy from the bottom and the middle up,” said Qaddoura. “I urge all Republicans and Democrats to set rhetoric aside. I don’t believe in the hypocrisy when either party or someone all of a sudden becomes super concerned about finances when the president of the country is from the opposite party.”
Sen. Zay said national debt has been a problem with administrations from both political parties, but he is more focused on getting the federal government to slow down right now.
“I feel like there is so much coming out of Washington at such high volume with so many dollars attached to it that it’s very difficult for us to keep pace and get a sense of how we can best direct these monies and what’s going to be best for Hoosiers,” said Zay.
To read more about the American Families proposal in Indiana, click here.