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Bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group Preps Policy Proposals

  • CHrissy and Bice at launch
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The first-ever bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group, led by Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Stephanie Bice (R-OK), is preparing policy proposals to be announced later this year. Since its establishment in January, the working group has conducted six Member-level meetings with policy and business experts.

“Too many families across America continue to face an impossible choice – caring for a newborn child or earning a paycheck,” said Houlahan. “I’m heartened by our progress so far and look forward to continued collaboration to give more Americans access to paid leave.”

“Paid family leave remains a major priority as we continue working to support American families,” stated the Paid Family Leave Working Group members. “Our bipartisan approach reflects our commitment to finding enduring solutions.”

Key takeaways from the six meetings held by the working group include:

  • A discussion on the history of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and former Republican HELP Committee Staffer Stephanie Monroe.
  • Briefings from representatives from Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, and the District of Columbia on their successful efforts to enact paid leave legislation.
  • Discussions with various insurance companies on the role they might play in implementing paid leave policies.
  • Consultations with nearly a dozen leaders in the small business sector on the impact of a federal paid leave policy on staffing and operating costs.
  • Meetings with large companies such as The Home Depot and IBM, to discuss their current paid leave policies and how a federal framework might operate.
  • A final meeting on how related issues like childcare and senior care affect the paid leave landscape.

Following the briefing series, Member-level conversations will begin on a legislative framework to put forward in the coming months.

The bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group comprises an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, including Co-Chairs Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Stephanie Bice (R-OK) and Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-IA), Hayley Stevens (D-MI), and Julia Letlow (R-LA). A similar bipartisan group has been set up in the Senate dedicated to advancing paid leave policies for more Americans.

Earlier this year, the group urged then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy to consider paid leave legislation during the 118th Congress.