Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
New estate tax to fund "baby bond" program
He wants the revenue from a new estate tax and from plugging the step-up loophole for inherited capital to go toward funding a "baby bond" program. This initiative would establish a savings account--accessible at age 18--for every newborn. The federal
government would deposit $1,000 into these accounts at birth and add up to $2,000 a year after that, depending on family income. Kids from the poorest families would have a nest egg close to $50,000 by the time they hit adulthood.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2019 Democratic primary
, Nov 19, 2019
Government funded savings account at birth
Booker has proposed some innovative solutions to generational poverty. His American Opportunity Accounts Act would give every child a savings account with $1,000, with the government making subsequent annual payments up to $2,000 a year depending on
family income until the child is 18. At that point, the recipient could use the money for "allowable" expenses like college or buying a home. Booker has also introduced a plan to expand eligibility and refund amounts for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2020 Democratic primary
, Apr 23, 2019
Opposes family separation policy at southern border
The New Jersey senator is also a vocal critic of Trump administration immigration policies that led to the separation of thousands of families at the Southern border.
He was one of 11 senators, including 2020 presidential candidates Sens.
Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to request weekly updates from the administration about children who were separated from their families.
Booker also co-sponsored the REUNITE Act, a bill to reunite separated families.
He visited the border to see the impact of Trump's immigration policies, and later objected to the Pentagon sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in the run-up to the 2018 midterms."
Unlike some Democrats, Booker has stopped short of calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and instead believes Congress should take a "serious look" at the agency.
Paid family leave is something that must happen, because when a parent doesn't have to choose between being there for a sick child and paying rent,
or when a single mom earns an equal wage for equal work, it empowers the most important building block in all of our nation, and that is the family.
Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention
, Jul 26, 2016
Society struggles without paid family leave
Our society claims to value children, but struggling mothers get no paid family leave. The U.S. is the only developed country that doesn't offer government- sponsored paid family leave.
Almost all of the world's nations--from Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo--offer this kind of support, but we don't.
Where people have no paid family leave, or vacation days, a child's illness is so much more than the minor stress and inconvenience my mother endured when I got sick. There is the added stress of how to pay a doctor or a co-pay,
how to make rent if you miss a day's work to stay home with your child, how to cope with not being there when your son, hospitalized for asthma, calls for his mother.
Job-protected time off for bereavement and illness
Booker announced that he has signed on to a legislative effort that protect grieving parents from losing their jobs in the event of a child's death. The Parental Bereavement Act would amend the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to give parents up to 12
weeks of unpaid, but job-protected, time off of work to cope with the death of a child. Roughly 3,000 American children between the ages of one and 14 die suddenly each year from accidents.
"Parents grieving the loss of a child shouldn't have to fear
losing their job too," Booker said. "This bill is a common sense expansion of family protections that Americans rely on."
Booker also supports legislation that would provide paid family leave. Booker is an original cosponsor of the Healthy Families
Act, which would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year to recover from illness or take care of a loved one. He also is a cosponsor of the Family & Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would establish a federal paid family leave policy.