Harris frustrated paid leave not a part of spending package

Vice President Harris on Friday expressed her frustration about paid family leave being cut out of President BidenJoe BidenMacro grid will keep the lights on Pelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE’s sweeping social spending package.

“Yes, it's frustrating,” she said in a press conference in Paris when asked about leave getting pushed out of the proposal. “It’s something I've been advocating for for years, as has the president, and it was in our initial proposal.”

Biden had proposed 12 weeks of paid family leave in the Democrats’ spending package. That had been trimmed to four weeks through negotiations and then was fully cut from the White House’s framework as a concession to Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Martin Luther King III: Biden, senators need to use same energy to pass voting rights as they did for infrastructure MORE (D-W.Va.).

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Harris said on Friday that she and Biden are still committed to fighting for paid family leave. 

“I'm frustrated and it is, I think, a shame that then we are not yet a leader on this. We have work to do. And that is why the president and I are committed to doing this work,” she said.

She noted that paid family leave disproportionally affects women and working women, speaking about the impacts on women through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We know that in the United States, and I know around the world, we have seen working women because of the pandemic leaves the workforce at the rate in the United States, the most recent number saw, somewhere around 2 million women left the workforce,” she said. 

“And let's be clear about this. An issue that impacts working women, not only directly impacts the economy of their household, it impacts the economy of our whole society. When you lift up the economic status of women, you necessarily lift up the economic status of families, and all of society benefits,” she added. 

Earlier this week, Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAirlines warn of 'catastrophic' crisis when new 5G service is deployed Buttigieg says parenthood 'lights a fire' The Memo: 2024 chatter reveals Democratic nervousness MORE told reporters at the White House that the Biden administration will continue to fight for paid family leave, adding his personal experience taught him that leave is “time to do important work.”