Gillibrand: Put Paid Family Leave – In The Budget

January 12, 2023

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) led a coalition of 16 senators to call on the Biden administration to remain firm in its commitment to paid leave by advancing a national paid family and medical leave program in the FY2024 budget. In the letter, the senators call for the inclusion of $547 billion in mandatory spending over 10 years to guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and personal medical leave to all working people in the United States. Gillibrand is joined in her letter by Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Duckworth (D-IL), Hirono (D-HI), Markey (D-MA), Merkley (D-OR), Padilla (D-CA), Sanders (I-VT), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Wyden (D-OR).

“We thank President Biden for his commitment to expanding paid leave and urge that the administration’s FY24 budget request meaningfully reflect that commitment. The United States is the world’s only industrialized nation that does not guarantee workers paid leave, even though nearly all workers will need to take time away from work at some point to address a serious illness or to care for a new child,” wrote the senators. “It is of the utmost importance that we invest in our nation’s workers and families through paid family and medical leave programs to provide much-needed financial security, cost-savings for businesses, reductions in government public assistance expenditures, and stimulation for local economies. We look forward to working together on this important issue to promote the financial well-being of working families and the vibrancy of the economy.”

“We applaud the Biden Administration for including paid leave in its economic agenda and its previous budgets, and we were so encouraged to hear the President commit to a renewed push on paid leave for all workers in all industries last month. As we start a new year and mark a new Congress and state legislative sessions, we are thrilled that state legislators, governors, and members of Congress are putting paid leave at the top of their agenda, unions are making it a priority, and support from voters has never been higher. We are optimistic about paid leave’s momentum and hope that will be reflected in the FY24 budget.” –Dawn Huckelbridge, Director at Paid Leave for All
“All U.S. workers deserve the security of knowing they will have paid family and medical leave no matter their job or employer, the state they live in, or their serious care need. Today, only a minority of workers have this assurance. Paid leave strengthens families, builds a stronger and more diverse labor force, and boosts businesses. The Senators’ request today to the Office of Management and Budget to propose fully-funded permanent, national paid leave in its Fiscal Year 2024 budget reflects a serious commitment to facilitate the support that workers, families, businesses and our economy need.” –Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow for Paid Leave Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab at New America
“Everyone at some point in their lives will need time to care for themselves or their families, yet 30 years after the Family and Medical Leave Act, many workers still must make the impossible choice between caring for themselves or their loved ones and their livelihoods. Paid leave is a racial, gender, and disability justice issue. It keeps workers in the labor force, reduces turnover and increases consumer spending. At a time when women’s labor force participation has declined, despite a strong job market, we need policies that will help women workers stay in the workforce without putting their families or their own health at risk. If U.S. women participated in the labor force at the same rates as our peer countries, we could add $650 billion to the economy annually. A budget is a moral document, and it is imperative that the administration reaffirm its commitment to a national paid family and medical leave program by including it in its FY2024 budget.” -Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families