Paid Family Leave Thrown Out Of Senate Budget Proposal

Paid family leave has been scrapped from the spending package. 

Democrats’ efforts to get national paid family leave onto the next spending package has failed, meaning that the US remains one of a handful of countries, and the only wealthy country in the world, to not offer national paid leave. 

Other countries globally offer more than a year. Among 41 countries considered rich, only the U.S. lacks parental leave. The share of mothers who are working either full time or part time in the U.S. increased over the past half-century, while fathers are also taking on more child care responsibilities.

Despite transformations, the U.S. has failed to update its paid leave. Not even one day is offered in the U.S. The smallest amount of paid leave in any other of the 40 countries is approximately two months. 

Democrats wanted 12 weeks originally. It was brought down to four weeks in order to appease Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is seen as a centrist Democrat and who was considered a key vote in the split Senate.

Despite attempting to amend to his desire, Manchin has reportedly not budged on the issue, and has said that expanding social programs “doesn’t make sense.” 

Democrats were left with two options. They could either drop the family leave in order to pass the budget, or risk it not passing. 

Three Democratic aides have now said that paid family and medical leave is no longer included in the $3.5 trillion spending bill. 

Erasing the provision appears to be among the first in major policies to be scrapped from the Build Back Better promises, making it a huge blow to President Joe Biden and the progressive left base. Build Back Better was a central campaign promise to Biden, and supporters are not exactly pleased for this provision to be scrapped. 

The policy had the support of nearly three-fourths of Americans. Unfortunately, popular public support proved not to be enough for the extremely split Congress. It also was never a top priority in the Senate or at the White House, and supporters failed to engage with the moderate Democrats until it was too late. 

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