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 HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal House to test Trump's veto pen on Saudi arms sales MORE (D-Md.), Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonProgressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats Congress needs to continue fighting the opioid epidemic Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people 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 TrumpLiberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow Ivanka Trump's women's initiative unveils million in new grants The Hill's Morning Report - House Democrats clash over next steps at border 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."