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Houlahan and Paid Leave Working Group Members Urge House Leadership to Join Efforts on Bipartisan Paid Leave

Bipartisan Working Group on Paid Leave looks to work with House Leadership on finding bipartisan solutions to this crucial issue for families.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) alongside Representatives Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Colin Allred (D-TX), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) sent a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). In the letter, members of the Bipartisan Working Group on Paid Family Leave called on House Leadership to join them in their efforts to create federal paid leave policy.

“Providing federal paid family leave for Americans is long overdue, which is why we’ve created this bipartisan working group,” said Houlahan. “Our goal is to develop federal legislation thatprovides paid leave for more Americans, and working with House leadership would allow us to be one step closer to that goal. Paid family leave benefits more than just the employee — it makes our economy stronger, our families stronger, and our country a better place. We must make it more accessible.”

“Our working group is an important first step in tacking the challenges that many Americans face when it comes to paid family leave,” said Bice. “We will look for innovative ways to lower costs, and expand options that support not only businesses, but families as well. Over the next few months, we will work in a bipartisan fashion to identify legislative optionsthat will strengthen the family and our economy.”

“As one of only a handful of countries without paid leave, millions of hardworking Americans are forced to make impossible decisions when the life of a loved one is upended by catastrophic illness or injury,” said Stevens. “We cannot afford to continue leaving our workers and employers behind. That is why I am so proud to be a member of this bipartisan group and am committed to passing meaningful legislation that will help move America forward.”

“On an issue as important as paid family leave, I’m encouraged by the fact that we’ve been able to come together in a bipartisan fashion and begin the process hashing out ideas,” said Letlow. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring forward substantive solutions that make sense for working families and business.”

“The time for paid family leave is now, and our bipartisan working group is dedicated to finding a solution that moves forward this critical idea to help working families,” said Allred. “I was proud to be the first member of Congress to take paternity leave after both my sons were born, and now we must ensure that every parent can take that critical time to be with their new baby, or a family member can care for a loved one in need.”

“I’m proud to be a member of this bipartisan working group to help identify ways in which we can improve paid family leave for businesses and employees,” said Miller-Meeks. “Each of us brings a unique perspective to the group and we have the potential to implement real change. I look forward to working together, and I hope House leadership will support our efforts.”

Read letter here or below.

Dear Speaker McCarthy and Democratic Leader Jeffries: 

We write to inform you of the creation of our Bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group. As the first working group in the House of Representatives dedicated to this issue, our goal is to create a bipartisan paid family leave policy that supports American families and businesses. Over the next year, we plan to explore and examine the many aspects of paid family leave policy at both the state and federal level with our ultimate goal of creating a federal policy. 

This year marks 30 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (Pub. L. 103–3) was signed into law. This landmark piece of legislation has had a tremendous impact on American families as it provides the ability for workers to keep their jobs when they need to take time off for circumstances such as the birth of a new child or a serious health condition for themselves or a family member. 

Despite the historic impact of FMLA, the need for access to paid family leave continues to increase. Only 25% of American workers have access to any type of paid family leave while 64% of American households are dual income. Even more notable is that only 56% of Americans are eligible for unpaid, job-protected leave. It is clear that current policy is not meeting the needs of our economy, businesses, and American families and our Working Group is committed to addressing this challenge in a bipartisan fashion. 

The small margin between the majority and minority is an opportunity to work together to find bipartisan consensus on an issue that is important to American families, with 53%4 of working moms saying that paid family leave would increase their financial security and help them stay in the workforce. As we work throughout this year to create a national paid family leave policy, we look forward to collaborating with you to pass meaningful bipartisan legislation that supports both American families and businesses. 

The United States is one of eight countries that does not guarantee paid leave for families. The other nations are Papua New Guinea, Suriname, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tonga. In order to continue as a competitive leader on the global stage, this must change for our economy, our families, and our nation. 

Thank you. 


Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward” and the Congressional Management Foundation’s 2022 Democracy Award for best Constituent Services in Congress.