Washington D.C., Oct 28, 2021 / 13:02 pm
A provision creating a national paid leave program will not be included in the social spending package being crafted by Congress, after weeks of negotiations on the potential length of the leave.
Previously, the congressional Democrats’ “Build Back Better Act” had called for 12 weeks, or about three months, of paid family and medical leave. As negotiations over the plan continued in recent days, that proposed time span was dropped to four weeks before the program was removed from the package entirely as of Oct. 27.
The United States is one of only eight countries with no national paid parental leave policy, and it is one of only a few countries without a national paid medical leave policy, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Some, but not all, of U.S. businesses offer paid leave as a benefit.
Paid leave was reportedly left out of the bill following opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is considered to be one of the more moderate Democrats in Congress. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) stated on Thursday, “Until the bill is printed, I will continue working to include paid leave in the Build Back Better plan.”