The 74-year old man was blockingCongress prohibited American workers from receiving paid medical and family leave. This left the United States the only industrialized country without this mandate.
On Wednesday, Senate DemocratsThey said that they had to remove the clause from their Build back Better legislation as Joe Manchin, West Virginia, was not willing to sign on.
“The fact that this one older white gentleman, who perhaps has never had to contend with family caregiving or the risk of losing his job or being unable to pay his bills, could stand in the way of paid leave for nearly 20 million people a year is shocking and upsetting,” said Vicki Shabo, senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Democrats were forced to reduce their plans for Build Back better tax and spending legislation. After Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), made clear that Democrats would not back a $3.5 trillion package over 10 years as President, Sen. Manchin (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Kyrsten Siene (D-Ariz. Joe BidenInitial proposal.
This final amount is likely to fall below $2 trillion. To get to that point, Democrats needed to reduce or eliminate many-sought programs.
HuffPost reports that Manchin had privately voiced concern over the expense of paying for paid leave. potential for fraud
Democrats were trying to lower their proposal in order to comply with Manchin’s cost-cutting requirements. From 12 weeks to only four weeks, it was now offering just 4. Discussions then began about leaving out sick leave However, the two sides were not able to agree and shared their thoughts with House colleagues on Wednesday afternoon.
Sen. Kirsten Gilbrand (D.N.Y.), who was working on the compromise, tried to keep faith Wednesday. She said Manchin was still “looking over the details.”
Manchin however stated that the Build back Better package was inappropriate.
“I’m looking at everything but to put this into a reconciliation bill — it’s a major policy — is not the place to do it,” Manchin told HuffPost.
Only 23% of private sector workers42% of employees have the right to family leave paid by their employers, and 42% can access medical leave.
Workers would be able to take universal paid sick leave take time off for a new child, recovery from an illness, taking care of a seriously ill family member or issues arising from a loved one’s military deployment.
If Biden cannot address paid time in another form, the former President Donald TrumpWe will make more progress in this area. He signed Federal Employee Paid Leave Act in 2019, giving an estimate of $1.5 billion. 2 millionFederal employees have access to paid parental leave for 12 weeks.
Many supporters were disappointed that the federal mandate for paid parental leave was dropped after the pandemic, which made it clear just how crucial it is to workers to have time off from work without being fired.
“I think it’s horrific that one white man can make this decision,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All. “But I think it’s also a failure of our entire government. It should have been an enormous legacy that we could leave the American people during times of crisis. This could have been the cornerstone program to help every family working in America. And we’ve squandered that opportunity.”