Senate Democrats cut paid family leave from massive social spending bill

Currently, Federal workers get up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave, while benefits for private-sector employees vary depending on the state or the company. 

Updated: October 27, 2021 - 7:56pm

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In a major blow to President Joe Biden's legislative agenda, Senate Democrats appear poised to cut the paid family leave program from the massive spending bill.

According to the New York Post, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin remains adamantly opposed to the federal subsidizing of paid parental leave, causing Democrats to remove the provision in order to gain his vote.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, told the New York Times that Manchin assured her he was still "keeping an open mind," while calling reports of the program being cut "premature."

For weeks, Senate Democrats have been in deep negotiations with their centrist counterparts in hopes of coming to a compromise on the issue with a more scaled-down approach to the program.

Talks seemed to have deteriorated Wednesday as Democrats continue to scramble to find more areas to cut from the spending bill.

Currently, Federal workers get up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave, while benefits for private-sector employees vary depending on the state or the company. 

Biden hoped to provide at least 12 weeks of paid leave to all workers across the country. This program would have allowed workers to take time off to care for sick family members, or for parents to care for a newborn baby.

As the Senate finalizes last-minute details of the spending package, Democratic House members are threatening to sink Biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill if Senate Democrats continue to cut social programs from the bill. 

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