Senator Murray: “We’ve seen such an outpouring of determination and passion to finally make paid leave happen, and let me tell you, I’m not surprised. Because we’ve been told time and time again on paid leave: ‘It’ll get done next time.’ Well, I’m here to say enough. The time is now.”
***WATCH THE FULL PRESS BRIEFING HERE***
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Paid Leave for All Director Dawn Huckelbridge to discuss the urgency of passing a national paid family and medical leave policy as part of the Build Back Better Act. The senators were also joined by Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn, founder and owner of Bright Start Early Care and Preschool in Washington, D.C., who spoke about the urgent need to pass a national paid leave policy based on her first-hand experience as a caregiver and small business owner.
“Working families, and in particular working moms, have been willing to share their most vulnerable stories: of the painful recovery after giving birth, of the incredibly special—but incredibly challenging—first weeks bonding with a newborn, of the grief of caring for a seriously ill child, of sitting at the hospital bedside of a seriously ill parent, of recovering from surgery or coping with a cancer diagnosis. And they’ve been willing to speak out about how all these challenges are made worse because our country still doesn’t have a national paid leave policy,” said Sen. Patty Murray. “We’ve seen such an outpouring of determination and passion to finally make paid leave happen, and let me tell you, I’m not surprised. Because we’ve been told time and time again on paid leave: ‘It’ll get done next time.’ Well, I’m here to say enough. The time is now.”
“Too many Americans have yet to see the promise of ‘equal opportunity’ made real in their own lives, and that is why I am fighting tooth and nail to make national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave a reality in Build Back Better,” said Leader Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Paid leave would make an instant difference for every day Americans, for urban and rural families, working women, people of color, and everyone in between. This is a critical investment that will promote a stronger and equitable economy for all working families.”
“Creating a stronger care infrastructure with affordable child care and home care, universal pre-K, and a national paid leave program is one of the best ways we can solve the problems working people and families have been facing for too long and that were magnified by COVID. Paid leave will make sure that people can care for themselves, for their children, or for their aging parents without having to sacrifice their paycheck or their job, fundamentally changing the way families live,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the American workplace, and I will keep fighting alongside Majority Leader Schumer and my colleagues here to make sure that the Build Back Better bill includes paid leave for all workers for all life events. This is the moment to deliver on paid leave and invest in the future of our families, our middle class, our companies, and our country.”
"Every time I’m back in Oregon, I hear from people who tell me that what they want to do is work hard and take care of their families. The reality is, for so many people, they are forced to make impossible decisions about the health of themselves and their families and making sure they can pay the bills,” Sen. Ron Wyden said. "Our job here in Congress is to make sure they’ve got the support they need to work and seize opportunities to get ahead. That’s why Democrats are working to guarantee paid leave."
“I am here today to add my voice as a caregiver, child care center owner and a small business owner to the need for a historical investment in our nation's care infrastructure to get on the path to recovery and resilience. … The cost of doing nothing is hurting small businesses when we need support, that's why I strongly support a paid family and medical leave program in D.C. where I am based. Paid family and medical leave works for small businesses and our employees. It is time for this to be a national program,” said Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn, founder and owner of Bright Start Early Care and Preschool
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world, to do something meaningful to help every working family, and to make history together by finally passing paid leave for all in the United States. Paid leave meets this moment - it saves lives and it saves jobs,” said Paid Leave for All Director Dawn Huckelbridge.