WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers say they don’t want moms and dads to have to choose between having a family and having a career.
A House committee is looking at several legislative proposals that would close the gaps in paid parental leave for federal workers and create a national paid family leave benefit.
Missouri Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner says as a mom and a grandma, she knows the joy and stress a newborn can be on parents.
“Along with rent and groceries, parents are now paying for medical bills, diapers, car seats,” said Wagner.
Wagner says under the current Family and Medical Leave Act, workers have the option to take time off but choose not to because they can’t afford it.
“The last thing a new parent should have to worry about is whether one is going to lose a job or miss a paycheck,” Wagner said.
Wagner says her bill, the “New Parents Act” would give parents the option to use a portion of their Social Security after the birth or adoption of a child.
Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett says instead Congress should consider the Democrats “Family Act.” It would raise taxes to make sure every worker has access to 12 weeks of paid leave.
But Texas Republican Kevin Brady says raising taxes would hurt families.
“Americans deserve a paid family leave plan that helps families and small businesses, not a one size fits all Washington mandate,” says Brady.
He says the federal government should get out of the way and let employers and employees to work together to create a solution that works for them.