America Needs a Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, Not the Inadequate, Harmful Alternatives President Trump and Senators Ernst and Lee are Proposing
“America’s moms want – and our economy and our nation need – a national paid leave plan that is comprehensive, affordable and sustainable and that allows all workers to care for new babies, their families, and themselves in critically important moments without risking their jobs or long-term financial security. Neither the Trump proposal nor the Child Rearing and Development Leave Empowerment (CRADLE) Act released this week meet our country's needs. In fact, by either raiding Social Security or by leaving out three in four people who currently take leave, both policies fail to meet the bar of lifting families, businesses, and our economy like the proposed FAMILY Act does.
“The CRADLE Act is the paid parental leave proposal introduced this week by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Mike Lee. It would raid Social Security to provide paid leave to new parents, forcing families to trade the economic security they will need in retirement tomorrow for paid time off to spend with a baby today. According to the Urban Institute, for a typical parent of two, that trade-off would reduce lifetime Social Security benefits by approximately 7 percent. That would put low-wage workers and those in communities of color – including millions of moms – in dire straits because they are likely to rely heavily on their Social Security benefits in old age. The CRADLE Act also fails to protect workers who take leave from retaliation or to protect the jobs to which leave-takers hope to return. Further, by only covering parent leave, this policy leaves out the three in four workers who take leave to care for a seriously ill family member or to recover from their own illness.
“Like the CRADLE Act, President Trump’s disastrous budget proposal would leave behind the millions of workers who need paid leave to care for their own serious medical conditions or those of family members. The Trump proposal also includes no job protection, covers only six weeks of leave, and passes the financial burden to the states, where over-stretched unemployment insurance systems would strain to meet the needs of unemployed workers and those who need paid family leave. Pitting workers against each other in this way would harm us all."
Statement from Ruth Martin, Vice President, MomsRising:
“There is already comprehensive, fiscally responsible legislation before Congress -- the FAMILY (Family And Medical Insurance Leave) Act. It is modeled on state family and medical leave insurance plans that are working well and it would cover people who are recovering from serious medical issues or who need to care for a family member, as well as new parents. The FAMILY Act is gaining momentum in Congress because it is the plan America needs. Our country’s moms want lawmakers to reject inferior alternatives and enact the FAMILY Act now.”