Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, America has wondered what type of role his eldest daughter would play in his decision-making. Though lots of women feel as though she's talked the talk but failed to walk the walk when it comes to influencing her father, Trump's SOTU did endorse Ivanka's causes. And that's a big plus for her.
In his address, though he didn't mention her name, Trump did mention two separate policies Ivanka has spearheaded within the Republican Party. First, he briefly touched on the child tax credit.
And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.
Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses. To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.
A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 -- slashing their tax bill in half.
Back in November, a policy that would eventually succeed in doubling the child tax credit was added to the Senate tax bill.
In the months leading up to that point, Politico's Nancy Cook reported that Ivanka had been working to get more and more Republicans, tax experts, and think tanks on board with the idea. In a statement at the time, Ivanka said,
A significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit will help parents have more money at a time in their lives when they need it the most and give them the flexibility to make the best choices regarding their families’ care. We’ve been deeply committed to helping parents afford the costs of raising and caring for their children since the early days of the administration and will continue to advocate for relief for American families in the coming weeks.
Secondly, during his SOTU, Trump mentioned the new family leave policy, an initiative Ivanka oversaw and pushed for consistently.
We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.
As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.
For Ivanka, paid family leave went hand in hand with the child tax credit. Both would ideally make things easier on working families. All the way back in July, the first daughter wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, explaining how she believed her policy would help American women. She wrote,
The policy outlined in the administration’s recent budget proposal emphasizes the need for mothers and fathers to have access to paid leave to encourage both parents to share parenting responsibilities and to strive toward minimizing hiring biases.
Though it's clear from Trump's speech that Ivanka has some sway over the president and the Republican Party, neither of her policies were necessarily all they were chalked up to be. Though the Senate tax plan did include a family leave policy, it was essentially a watered down version of what Ivanka had initially suggested. Instead of actually guaranteeing paid family leave, the policy offers tax incentives to companies that offer the plan to their employees.
And when it comes to the doubled child tax credit, there are some caveats. The policy allows a person to make 15 cents on every dollar earned. That means a single mom, for example, would have to make at least $50,000 in order to get a tax credit of $2,000 per child. In other words, the program won't make a huge difference for low-income Americans.
Still, the fact that Trump clearly supports Ivanka's initiatives — especially the family leave policy — hints that he believes in her. It's clear that he believes Ivanka's policies are vital to the future of America. And that's definitely a win for the first daughter.