The urgency of the paid leave crisis in this country should not be underestimated. Only 25% of workers in the country have access to paid leave as part of their job. In the lowest-paid quarter of earners — disproportionately women and women of color — that drops to just 9%.
Despite the long and arduous fight to pass paid leave in the House and Senate, he fell victim to the doomed Build Back Better Bill of 2021, and Rep. DeLauro and the Family Act’s FAMILY Act. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was not adopted. four times so far, there’s renewed vigor around the issue in the halls of DC.
It has become a cornerstone of President Biden’s agenda, along with the historic $325 billion provision for paid family and medical leave in his latest budget. The newly formed Congressional Dads Caucus (led by Rep. Jimmy Gomez) has adopted paid leave as one of its main goals. The FAMILY Act is reintroduced next week. And notably, 2023 marked the creation of the first-ever bipartisan task force to pass paid leave led by Democratic Rep. Chrissy Houlahan and Republican Rep. Stephanie Bice.
Houlahan said Charm, “I feel a sense of urgency. This is a working group that has met actively at least once a month, if not more, since its inception. Our mantra is: More paid time off for more people. And we’re trying to reduce that as best we can. There’s an opportunity and there’s momentum.
When asked what the group intends for “more paid time off for more people,” Houlahan explained that “it seems like the appetite for the collective right now is centered around parents. [leave]but it is a good and important start.