WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden has proposed a national paid family and medical leave program in his sweeping $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
Biden unveiled the plan Wednesday, saying the investment in children, families and education would fundamentally transform roles the government plays in American life. Many of the proposals listed below require Congressional or state buy in to be enacted. Part of the plan is a proposed national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.
Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s proposed leave program:
What is in the program?
The program would provide workers up to $4,000 a month, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly pay replaced, with up 80% replaced for the lowest wage workers.
In year one of the program, the plan would include three days of government leave per year. By year 10, the proposed plan would guarantee 12 weeks of paid parental, family and personal illness leave.
This program would also include support for caring for a seriously ill loved one, a loved one’s military deployment, finding safety from sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence or leave for a serious illness.
Currently, the United States does not guarantee any paid family or medical leave to the entire workforce.
How much WILL BIDEN’S PAID LEAVE PROGRAM cost?
The White House estimates the total cost would $225 billion over the course of a decade.
How WILL THE PAID LEAVE PROGRAM be paid for?
Biden has proposed a series of tax hikes to fund the plan. The series of tax increases would target the wealthy and would raise about $1.5 trillion over a decade.
Why does Biden say he want this plan?
“No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and a loved one – a parent, spouse or child,” Biden said in his speech to Congress Wednesday.
“In part due to the lack of family-friendly policies, the United States has fallen behind its competitors in female labor force participation,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
The White House referenced a Washington Center for Equitable Growth study that says under state paid leave laws, new mothers are 18% more likely to be working a year after the birth of their child.
WHAT HAVE Republicans SAID?
Republican lawmakers in Congress so far have balked at the price tag of both the “families” plan and infrastructure package. The infrastructure plan was unveiled last month and the GOP has unveiled a public works proposal in response with a much smaller price tag and a narrower definition of infrastructure than Biden’s. Republicans have not issued a rebuttal to Biden’s family plan.
“Tonight we also heard about a so-called ‘Family Plan,’ U.S. Senator Tim Scott said Wednesday night in the GOP response to Biden’s address. “Even more taxing, even more spending, to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle to college.”
This story will be updated as changes to the proposals are enacted.