Three Dems in the Senate Want to Launch a Paid Family Leave Bill After Working To Pass a Comprehensive Proposal

The lead Democratic senator on a universal paid family leave bill plans to hold a hearing for the legislation on Wednesday in New York, at which workers from a construction firm that makes an…

Three Dems in the Senate Want to Launch a Paid Family Leave Bill After Working To Pass a Comprehensive Proposal

The lead Democratic senator on a universal paid family leave bill plans to hold a hearing for the legislation on Wednesday in New York, at which workers from a construction firm that makes an average of $220,000 a year are to testify in support of it.

The hearing follows another effort to get the concept of a national paid family leave bill off the ground. Shortly after a Senate bill was passed last week with unanimous Republican support, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) launched a letter campaign calling on her colleagues to support her paid family leave bill to be filed this fall.

The House passed its own version of the bill in April of last year.

The fact that the issue is a topic of debate in the Senate comes at a time when many Senate Democrats are pushing to run the party up against polls showing that they continue to face a substantial amount of anger, particularly among working-class voters.

A new Bloomberg poll showed that 71 percent of Republican voters and 90 percent of Democratic voters had a favorable opinion of Democratic lawmakers. The polling also showed 57 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats thought that elected officials’ performance rating deserved a “better” or “much better” than “worse” score.

Additionally, a recent POLITICO-Morning Consult poll found that 84 percent of voters say they would support candidates who promise to cut taxes and the same percentage said they would support Democrats who push for a plan to create a “green New Deal.”

Gillibrand’s bill proposes to create a government-backed insurance program that would pay out certain benefits to American workers once they have had a baby, become seriously ill or otherwise lose their job.

The insurance program, which would not be funded by the taxes on businesses or the wealthy, would cover up to a set amount of income – up to, at least, six weeks after a birth.

Republicans have panned the idea of what has been called a “income support system,” pointing out that the bill would leave the government on the hook to pay out the entirety of the benefits to American workers when there are larger economic hardships such as the Great Recession of the early 2000s.

As far as Gillibrand’s plan is concerned, every state in the country already has a government-funded program, called the Family and Medical Leave Act, that provides some kind of paid leave to those who need it.

Bills that have made their way through the Republican-controlled House to create a similar program have languished, with many Republicans arguing that such a program is too costly and a waste of the federal government’s limited resources.

The bill, backed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has a pretty prominent lobbyist looking over it’s shoulder, a group that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has also taken issue with the $50 billion price tag.

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