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Federal News Network: Federal employees could be ‘very close’ to long-awaited paid parental leave win

Washington, December 10, 2019
Federal employees could be ‘very close’ to long-awaited paid parental leave win

BY NICOLE OGRYSKO - 12/9/2019

Federal employees may be close to a new benefit that some lawmakers and employee groups have been fighting for nearly a decade.

Congress and the White House have reached a tentative deal to include up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave in the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act, which lawmakers are supposed to consider as soon as this week.

“We may not have the whole thing,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) said Monday of the agreement at a townhall at the Food and Drug Administration with members of the National Treasury Employees Union. “But I do believe we’re close, at least on the parental leave portion. If we’re successful here, federal employees would receive 12 weeks of parental paid leave. We’ll then have to work on the other piece, the medical leave piece.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported Congress and the White House were close to a deal on paid leave for federal employees in the defense authorization bill. The Washington Post first reported the White House was willing to move on the paid leave program in exchange for the president’s proposed Space Force.

New House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have advocated for a federal paid parental leave program for years. They, along with Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer (D-Va.), introduced the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act as a standalone bill in March.

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