House Dems introduce bill providing paid family leave for federal employees

House Dems introduce bill providing paid family leave for federal employees
© Greg Nash

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced legislation that would guarantee federal employees 12 weeks of paid family leave. 

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act — spearheaded by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Social media faces scrutiny after New Zealand attacks | YouTube removed 'tens of thousands' of shooting videos | DHS chief warns of state-backed cyber threats | House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality House to take up gender pay gap, Violence Against Women Act House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality bill MORE (D-Md.), Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonNew Zealand mosque killings raise fears among US Muslims Why block citizenship to immigrants who defend America? House Dems introduce bill providing paid family leave for federal employees MORE (D-Va.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.) — allow men and women to take paid leave following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child or to take care of a spouse or parent suffering from a serious health condition.  

Proponents of the bill argue its necessary to keep the federal government competitive in hiring as the cost of childcare can be burdensome and many companies in the private sector currently offer more extensive benefits.

“Currently, employees in the federal government are required to take unpaid parental leave, often exhausting the vacation and sick leave they have to get the time they need for their newborns or newly adopted children," Hoyer told reporters. 

Maloney said while there are currently no Republicans cosponsers, she's hopeful the bill will garner bipartisan support. The New York Democrat said she sent a copy of the bill to first daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kushner treat reporters during Jewish holiday of Purim Pavlich: A better higher education Stop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave MORE — who has been vocal in her call for reforms — and hopes to meet with her to discuss the issue. 

"It's a win-win situation and it's also one of the policies the president spoke of in his State of the Union - he spoke of paid family leave,"  she told reporters. "So let's help him keep at least one promise and pass this bill."