Paid Family Leave Debated in Senate Finance Committee

Paid family leave was a hot topic in a hearing held by the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy.  Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) testified at the hearing regarding their proposals on paid family leave.

Senator Gillibrand spoke about her Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act), which allows for paid leave funded through taxes on both employees and employers. The proposal also allows leave for circumstances other than a new child. If a person needs to take time to be a caregiver for a sick family member or they themselves need medical leave to treat an illness, they can do so under this proposal.  People would be guaranteed 66 percent of their regular earnings or up to $4,000 a month.

Senator Ernst highlighted the importance of this issue, and shared that she is working with Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee on crafting a paid leave bill that has yet to be introduced.  Notable was her and her Republican colleagues opposition with utilizing taxes on employers or employees to fund paid leave.  She along with Senators Rubio and Lee are looking at how to create a paid leave benefit through Social Security, in which in return for receiving paid leave, participants would defer the collection of their Social Security benefits upon retirement.

Watch the hearing here.

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