Amazing news! Last Friday morning the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed the Build Back Better Act, with paid family/medical leave intact, and sent it to the Senate where it now must pass in order to reach President Biden’s desk and become law. This historic legislation will provide 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave, as well as free preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, a fully refundable Child Tax Credit, and expanded access to home and community-based services for older people and people with disabilities, and more!
There are just seven legislative days left on the Senate calendar before the end of the year.
Act now and urge your U.S. Senators to act quickly to pass the BBB Act, including paid family/medical leave, before the end of the year.
The Build Back Better Act is the progress we’ve been asking for to lift our families, businesses, and economy, as well as to fight inflation; and now we must ask the Senate to move quickly and pass this legislation before the end of the year.
Make no mistake: The advancement of paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better Act in the Senate is critical for families, businesses, the community and the economy. Passing permanent paid family/medical leave within this bill means the work towards a just and equitable recovery is on the right track. It means millions of unpaid family caregivers, an estimated 53 million adults in the U.S. who provide care to a child or adult, can remain in the workforce and keep much-needed jobs. 
Even before the pandemic, the majority of caregivers were women who too often have been forced to choose between providing care for themselves or their loved ones when a serious health crisis occured, and their jobs. And even before the pandemic, 1 in 4 women were pushed back to work within 2 weeks of giving birth or welcoming a new child. 
In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 20% of private sector workers in our nation,  including only 8% of the lowest wage earners, have access to some form of paid family/medical leave when a new baby arrives or a serious health crisis strikes. 
This is not okay.
It does NOT have to be this way. Studies show that paid family/medical leave is one of the most popular pieces of the Build Back Better agenda, so not including it in the final bill would put millions of families at risk and hurt our economy. In fact, the paid family and medical leave program included in the Build Back Better Act passed by the House is estimated to benefit an estimated 18.5 million workers each year who do not currently have paid family/medical leave through their employers.  Paid family and medical leave is vital to help lift families and help the economy thrive, it must remain in the Build Back Better Agenda.
How critical is paid leave?
It’s critical to Susan in Charleston, WV who had to take unpaid leave because she has a compromised immune system and has to recover when a critical health crisis strikes. And to Tammie in Martinsburg, WV who is a registered nurse and who couldn’t work because she had COVID-19. Tammie exhausted all of her vacation and sick leave as she continued to battle COVID-19 and needed paid family/medical leave to recover. And what about Jaime from Glen Easton, WV who couldn’t work for 2 weeks due to pneumonia from COVID-19? Jaime didn’t have income for those 2 weeks as she fought pneumonia and struggled to pay bills.
The U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn’t offer a federally mandated paid family and medical leave program. It’s past time for change. The moment is now but we need your help to continue the push and fight to keep paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better Act.
→ Urge Congress to act now and pass the Build Back Better Act with comprehensive paid family/medical leave for all caregiving families.
P.S.– Personal experiences are powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders understand how public policies impact families so they can move change. We want to hear more from YOU! Can you take a second and follow the link below to share your personal story about how having, or NOT having, access to job-protected paid leave has impacted your family in the pandemic? https://action.momsrising.org/survey/Caretaking_Stories