As the new Congress forms its legislative agenda, Representatives Stephanie Bice (R-OK) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) have formed the Bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group, made up of six congresspeople, half Republicans and half Democrats. Group members include Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Haley Stevens (D-MI).
The first meeting of the working group will be on February 7, the same day as President Biden’s State of the Union address. Rep. Bice said the group is starting with a “blank slate,” with Rep. Houlahan noting that “nothing is off the table” for consideration. Reps. Bice and Houlahan teased the working group in a column in The Hill.
HR Policy Association has met with Reps. Bice and Houlahan’s staff and will reach out to other members of the Bipartisan Working Group to further establish the Association as a resource as lawmakers begin to pursue legislative proposals. The Association will continue to advocate for a national paid leave standard to ease the current burdens companies are facing as they comply with various state requirements.
Meanwhile, to commemorate the FMLA’s 30th anniversary, this week President Biden signed a memorandum to broaden access to family and medical leave for federal employees and convened a meeting with state legislators who are working to advance bills this session that would create statewide paid family and medical leave programs.
Outlook: In a divided Congress the odds of passage of a paid leave bill are slim. One likely point of contention for the bipartisan working group is how any paid leave plan would be funded and delivered. While Republicans tend to propose tax-based benefits, Democrats have preferred direct government assistance in previous proposals.
Published on: February 3, 2023
Authors: Chatrane Birbal
Topics: Employment Law, Washington Updates
Vice President, Government Relations, HR Policy AssociationContact Chatrane Birbal LinkedIn