The Senate Finance Committee hopes to develop a bipartisan national paid leave policy with a newly formed working group led by Sens.
The group, which includes committee members
The demand for a federal parental leave law has reached a fever pitch, even becoming a 2020 presidential campaign issue. Democratic candidate Sen.
A growing group of U.S. companies have established their own paid leave benefits, even though it’s not a federal requirement. Health food chain Sweetgreen, for example, announced May 22 a five-month-long paid leave benefit for its workers.
Democrats and Republicans have agreed that there’s a need for a federal leave policy, but they differ on how best to get there. Democrats want a national paid leave plan where the benefits are paid for now, in a collective manner, while many Republicans prefer a method where benefits are paid for later, and earned at an individual level. Both sides have expressed concern over the ultimate cost of the opposing party’s plan, and dueling analyses paint different pictures of the price of each party’s programs.
The Finance Committee will consider existing paid family leave plans and the subsequent gaps in coverage, the types of benefits and eligibility, and potential funding mechanisms, among other issues.
“Most parents work outside the home and childcare costs are a burden for many families. The first months of life are a critical period for newborns. We should take a look at any policy that might help in their development,” committee Chairman Sen.