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 Hoyer Hoyer calls GOP efforts to out whistleblower 'despicable' Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (D-Md.), Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonNewly-elected official feels 'stronger' than she did when she flipped off Trump's motorcade Ben Carson says political correctness will 'destroy our nation' when pressed on reported transgender remarks Carson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' 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.

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“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 TrumpOn The Money: Appeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records | Fed chief urges Congress to boost US workforce | Federal deficit hits 4 billion in one month | China talks hit snag over agricultural purchases Trump falsely claims Ivanka 'created 14 million jobs' Overnight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings 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."