Biden Funding Bill Sparks Democratic Disarray

Paid leave has been a major sticking issue in President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social insurance and renewable electricity program. The legislation will not proceed without the support of all 50 Democrats in the Senate, including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.

Manchin hasn’t approved the plan yet, since it provides four weeks of compensated leave for new parents or those dealing with illness. To appease Manchin, Democrats in the House agreed to reduce paid vacation from twelve weeks to eight weeks. Manchin wants it gone.

Manchin reportedly stated his opposition to it last month. Manchin’s rejection now undermines the bill’s approval, enraging liberals who see paid leave as a key feature.

Lobbyist Petition

Scores of New York locals and grassroots organizers urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer not to remove paid family leave from the measure.

Getting paid leave cannot be slashed on Schumer’s watch, the organization urged the New York Democrat. They also affirmed their belief every working-class individual in New York, and even beyond, needs time to attend to themselves and their family members.

Building better will provide new public services and incentives, including paid leave. It was a crucial manifesto pledge made by Biden and the Democrats in Congress, and it is immensely popular among young people.

A recent Morning Consult/Politico tracking survey revealed majority support for four weeks of paid family leave and sick pay. This Thursday, Schumer stated Democrats want paid leave in the legislation.

House Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi battled to maintain paid leave in the bill. They dropped a 12-week paid family leave proposal after Manchin said he would still not support it. Pelosi added four weeks of paid leave to the House bill late last month.

Manchin Stands Firm in His Conviction

Democrats say the US should join most other developed nations in providing paid leave. With up to 35 weeks of paid leave, Canada provides up to 55% of weekly insurable wages.

The House bill’s paid leave component would provide substantial pay, based on earnings for new parents, sick employees, and caregivers of sick family members. Activists and Democrats are urging Manchin to back the measure.

Paid Leave for All, a paid leave lobbying group, released a new poll finding 80% of West Virginia residents support paid sick leave and 75% support paid leave for new parents.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist independent from Vermont, has openly pressed Manchin to keep the paid leave measure in the bill.

Sanders said America is the only big country that does not offer paid family leave and sick pay. If you’re low-income, you can have a child and return to work in a few days.

Manchin said he supports a federal paid leave scheme, but does not want it passed without GOP backing, since it might be undone if Republicans regain control of Congress.

The impartial Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost at $200 billion. Manchin said he has begun negotiations with moderate Republicans to build support for a second paid leave bill.

Machin told CNN they could accomplish it jointly. They can make it last, but most Republicans won’t back it. A federal mandate, Republicans believe, would increase costs for firms while diminishing employment.