House Democrats brace for Senate staredown over paid family medical leave




  • In Politics
  • 2021-10-19 00:31:02Z
  • By Axios
 

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave - a key priority for progressives - will be included in President Biden's final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. "Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package," Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.

  • The coverage has an estimated cost of $225 billion to $500 billion over 10 years.

  • Beyond Neal, it has powerful backers in the House and Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is committed to keeping it in any final package, according to a person familiar with her thinking.

  • "I'm confident there's a path forward to ensuring its inclusion, and believe all parties involved in these discussions understand how critical this provision is for workers and the economy," Neal said.

The big picture: The House is facing a self-imposed deadline to reach an agreement by Oct. 31. Lawmakers, as well as outside groups, are fighting to ensure their priorities are included in any final agreement.

  • The New Democrat Coalition demanded on Monday that Biden's signature child tax credit remain in the final bill, after Axios reported Manchin wanted to dramatically trim it.

  • "The Build Back Better Act must extend this vital, middle-class tax cut through at least 2025 and keep full refundability," said Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), the coalition's chairwoman.

  • Along with other House moderates, she will head to the White House on Tuesday to meet with Biden.

  • "New Dems are the majority makers in the House, and it is our constituents who would be left behind if this enhanced child tax credit is not fully extended," DelBene said.

Flashback: At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Pelosi insisted on keeping a provision to expand paid family medical leave as she negotiated with then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the first big relief package.

Between the lines: President Biden didn't mention paid family medical leave when he was in Connecticut last week, marking the second time he's omitted the program from his official remarks.

  • Yet Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg endorsed it on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, saying it remains "in the president's vision."

  • "We'll see what the legislative process is going to bring," he added.

  • In conversation with outside advocacy groups, Biden aides try to include the provision when talking about their priorities, according to a White House official.

Go deeper: Outside groups staged a rally outside of the White House last week to ensure paid leave will be included in a final bill.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Burnout, money, fear drive turnover in Harris
Burnout, money, fear drive turnover in Harris's office

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's...

A reality check on free at-home COVID tests
A reality check on free at-home COVID tests

The Biden administration's decision to require health insurance companies to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests is part of a national effort to more...

Biden
Biden's push against sanctions on Russia's pipeline puts Democrats in a bind

The Biden admin is pressing Democrats to reject sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, even as it warns Moscow to pull back troops from Ukraine.

Voting rights advocates frustrated by
Voting rights advocates frustrated by 'same-old, same-old' meeting with White House

Participants lament apparent lack of strategy from Biden to address filibuster and get voting rights bills passed Kamala Harris discussed voting rights with ...

Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, 7 other pro-Trump lawyers ordered to pay Michigan $175,000 for
Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, 7 other pro-Trump lawyers ordered to pay Michigan $175,000 for 'Kraken' lawsuit

Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, 7 other pro-Trump lawyers ordered to pay Michigan $175,000 for 'Kraken' lawsuit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics