Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCanova: Waiting for Sanders to return my call The Trail 2016: Trump works to widen his appeal Green Party nominee: Debate commission ‘illegitimate’ MORE (I-Vt.) wants to give Americans a paid vacation, as part of a "family values" agenda he outlined Thursday.
Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he is introducing a bill, the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act, that would give 10 days of paid vacation to every employee that had worked for an employer for at least one year. The legislation would apply to employers with at least 15 employees.
"What family values are about is that at least for two weeks a year, people can come together under a relaxed environment and enjoy the family," Sanders said from the Senate floor. "That is a family value that I want to see happen in this country."
The legislation is part of the senator's "family values agenda." As part of the agenda, he also backed legislation that would give an employee 12 weeks of paid leave if they have a child or serious medical condition, as well as a separate bill that would give workers up to seven paid sick days.
On his support for paid sick leave, Sanders added, "I am not crazy about the idea of somebody who is sick coming to to work, preparing the food that I eat in a restaurant."
While Republicans had previously discussed "family values," Sanders said that "generally speaking, what they mean by family values is opposition to a woman's right to choose, opposition to contraception, opposition to gay rights."
The senator's remarks came as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is making a presidential bid, unveiled a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Sanders contrasted what he suggested were the family values highlighted by Republicans, saying he wanted to "briefly give a somewhat different perspective on family values, on real family values, on the values that really matter."
Sanders's decision to introduce paid-vacation legislation follows up on his speech last month during an event in Vermont to formally kick off his campaign. At the time, he backed "guaranteed vacation time for all."