Health Care

Biden pushes for 12-weeks of paid family leave in presidential first

President Biden gives his first joint address to Congress
Washington Post/Pool

President Biden on Thursday called for legislation providing 12 weeks of paid family leave for all Americans as part of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan proposal to Congress.

“No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and a loved one – a parent, spouse, or child,” Biden said in his speech before a joint session in the House chamber.

Biden’s American Family Plan calls for $225 billion to fund partial wage replacement for people taking leave because they or a family member are sick, welcoming a new child, or dealing with sexual assault or domestic violence.

It would provide up to $4,000 a month, and up to 80 percent of full wages for the lowest earners during that period.

Molly Day, the interim Executive Director of Paid Leave for the U.S., an advocacy group, noted that it was the first time an American President had formally called for paid family and medical leave legislation to cover all Americans.

“President Biden’s American Families Plan is a history-making step forward in the fight for paid family and medical leave and a watershed moment for working families across the U.S.,” she said.

“Turning the page on decades of underinvestment in America’s working families, Biden is the first President to introduce a permanent paid leave program that extends parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave to every working person.”

Former President Obama had pushed for legislation to extend leave for federal workers.

Tags Joe Biden

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