ASTON, Pa. — Donald Trump, in softer tones than he normally uses, on Tuesday unveiled several policy proposals for lowering child-care costs that were crafted in part by his eldest daughter, Ivanka, including a plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave that marks a striking departure from GOP orthodoxy.

Conservative Republicans, in particular, have long seen a mandated expansion of the social safety net as anathema to their attempts to shrink government spending and give companies more control over their leave policies.

In a speech here, the Republican presidential nominee proposed ensuring six weeks of paid maternity leave to mothers who do not already receive leave from their employer.

“We need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids,” said Trump, who appeared determined to show a more sensitive side than most are accustomed to seeing from him. He used a subdued delivery that contrasted with his tendency at larger rallies to raise his voice. After his speech, he held up a baby in the crowd.

Campaign officials said the maternity leave program wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything more; instead, it would be financed through savings achieved by eliminating fraud in the unemployment insurance program. The plan would apply to mothers and would not be transferable to fathers.

Trump also laid out specific plans for enabling parents to deduct the cost of child-care expenses from their income taxes. Trump first mentioned allowing parents to “fully deduct” expenses last month when he announced his economic agenda in Detroit. Some of these expenses are already deductible under the law.

A fact sheet released by the Trump campaign proposed to “rewrite the tax code to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents.”

That deduction would be capped at the “average cost of care” in the state of residence, and it would not be available to individuals earning more than $250,000 or a couple earning more than $500,000.


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