Thursday, October 28, 2021

Paid family and medical leave reportedly DROPPED from Biden’s economic plan

I was so hopeful when I learned that Presiden Biden's economic plan included paid family and medical leave. Then we heard reports that two Democratic Senators, West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, were holding up the bill over its reported $3.5 trillion price tag. That led to reports that the paid family leave allotment would be cut to only 4 weeks, still a transformational change for American employees and employers, but significantly less than that which any other industrialized nation provides its employees.

Now, it's being reported that Democrats have eliminated paid family leave from the bill entirely to appease Manchin and get a bill passed. From NBC News:

Democrats are dropping family and medical paid leave from President Joe Biden's Build Back Better spending package, multiple sources confirmed to NBC News, as the party feverishly works to narrow down the bill and secure an agreement.

The move comes after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a key centrist, raised objections to including guaranteed paid leave in the social safety net bill. Its removal deals a blow to Democrats who viewed the proposal as a key component of Biden's legislative agenda.

Manchin indicated to reporters that he didn't think the spending measure, known as the reconciliation bill, should be used to pass a significant policy proposal like paid leave.

Pardon my language, but this is a fucking disgrace. We are supposed to be the leader of the free world and the world's strongest economy, and yet we are the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee any amount of paid leave to our employees on a national level.  In fact, only New Guinea and Suriname join us in the United Nations as countries that do not offer any amount of employee paid leave. When countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which are not known for their progressiveness, do this better than us, we are doing something very, very wrong.

America, we should do better. We must do better. Our employees deserve paid leave. If Afghanistan can do it, why can't we? 

NBC News is reporting that Democrats plan to spend the day pressuring Manchin to drop his opposition to including four weeks of paid leave in the bill. Manchin, however, has time and politics on his side. He knows that time is running out to pass a bill, and that the failure to do so would be devastating to Biden's administration and their party. Thus, if Manchin doesn't want paid leave included in this bill, paid leave won't be in this bill. And, as noted above, that's a fucking disgrace.