WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) says Congress needs to include paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better plan.
“Nearly eight in 10 workers in America don’t have access to paid leave,” Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand says the pandemic showcased the need for a universal paid leave program that benefits both employees and employers.
“The numbers prove that paid leave keeps people employed, providing stability to their families and the companies they work for,” Gillibrand said.
A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found more than 70% of small businesses in New York and New Jersey support paid family leave.
“Without paid leave, far too many workers have to make that very choice, and either risk losing their job and having to quit or not meeting that family need,” Gillibrand said.
And other Democrats like Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) agree with this program.
“Paid leave is not only a caregiving issue, it’s an economic and workforce issue,” Casey said.
But Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) says businesses should handle these benefits.
“It is something that is for employers and employees and not a mandate by the federal government,” Blackburn said.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va) says Congress should pull it out of the president’s plan, and work on a more bipartisan policy.
“To be able to make this work, not just for the large businesses, where they make it work, but for the smaller business and smaller employers,” Capito said.
The president’s social spending plan currently includes four weeks of paid family leave, but there is no guarantee the provision will survive expected cuts in the Senate.