The bipartisan Senate coalition’s suggested $900 billion stimulus outline was unveiled on Wednesday, December 9, and it’s no surprise that the bulk of the proposal is geared toward protecting businesses. However, what is frightening is the lawmaker’s blatant disregard for working families.
Not only is a new round of stimulus checks still up in the air, but there is currently no language suggesting the plan will extend the paid family- and sick-leave provisions that are set to expire at the end of December.
As it currently stands, the family-leave policy passed in the March 2020 stimulus bill guarantees 12 weeks off for parents with children attending school virtually or who can’t be sent to daycare. Only 10 of those weeks are partially paid time off. With no extension insight, what are working moms and dads meant to do next?
While advocates for paid family leave suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and multiple special interest groups are lobbying for the inclusion of these protections, they warn that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are acting as roadblocks.
“This is just another example of how Senate Republicans continue to dismiss and ignore what women and families need,” Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the women’s initiative at the Center for American Progress, told The Huffington Post.
USA Today and The 19th recently released a report that more than 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce in September, compared with 216,000 men, deepening what the nonprofit organization describes as “the nation’s first female recession.”
“As parents and caregivers know, we’re juggling a lot right now,” Chelsea Clinton wrote in a Glamour op-ed back in November. “From work to virtual or hybrid learning to potty training to our kids’ nightmares to tough, important conversations about the world with even our young children. For essential workers who aren’t able to work from home or for people who have lost their jobs, it’s downright impossible.”
Frankly, working moms are at a breaking point and this potential relief bill does little to help.