National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness on Friday issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal will require states to provide paid parental leave:
“The news that paid parental leave may be included in the president’s budget is a testament to years of advocacy and clear public demand for a solution to the nation’s paid leave crisis, but the details matter tremendously. A paid leave plan that continues the current state-by-state patchwork, only provides six weeks of leave when we have a clearly established 12-week national standard, guarantees leave only for new parents and is not funded responsibly would do more harm than good. Such a plan ignores the fact that more than 75 percent of people who take family or medical leave in this country each year do so for family caregiving and medical reasons. It neglects people who need paid time to address their own serious health issues, excludes working people who care for seriously ill or injured family members, and disregards military families’ needs. It does nothing to support or level the playing field for small businesses. And it perpetuates existing geographic inequalities in access to paid leave.
This is a phony and truly dangerous attempt to do something on paid leave that aligns with the reckless and disingenuous behavior we have come to expect from this administration. The American people and members of Congress will not fall for a grossly inadequate budget plan that claims to help working families while decimating essential programs and services. And we will not be fooled into thinking that this paid leave plan is a real policy solution. Instead, we will continue pushing for a comprehensive, inclusive and tested policy like the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, the leading proposal in Congress. The FAMILY Act is the only plan designed to meet the paid leave needs of working people, families, businesses and our economy and it is modeled on successes and lessons learned from state paid family and medical leave insurance programs. The FAMILY Act is the paid family and medical leave policy the country truly needs.”
For more information on the FAMILY Act and to find out more about the extensive body of research on the benefits of paid leave, visit NationalPartnership.org/theFAMILYAct and SupportPaidLeave.org.