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tv   Hearing on Paid Family Medical Leave  CSPAN  July 12, 2021 2:29am-5:59am EDT

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and 50 minutes. >> the committee will come to order and declare a recess at any time. i now recognize -- today we will discuss the dire need for comprehensive paid leave in the united states the steps congress can take to meet those needs. congress passed legislation, paid parental leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child for more than 2 million federal employees, this was a huge step, only two countries in the world, united states, it does not provide paid leave for the birth of a child. the passage of this bill,
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sufficient to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. we cannot rest now because there's much more to be done. we need to build on this historic achievement pipe brings the federal government employment policies in line with leading companies in the private sector. and the rest of the world. that's why in january hr 564 comprehensive paid leave for total employees act. this would fund, provide federal employees with comprehensive paid family and medical leave. that means employees would have access to paid leave if they get sick, need to care for a family member family members literary supplement. the family and medical leave act guarantees unpaid leave. unpaid leave is untenable to many federal workers. this is a policy long overdue
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for the federal workforce and for our nation. the federal government has the opportunity to lead the way on paid leave in a family-friendly workplace while providing access to paid leave is critically important and long overdue, just as important to provide access to paid family and medical leave. military deployment can be plan for. as we have all learned in the past year, illness can strike any of us at any time. is it fair to ask workers to make the choice between a family member or continuing to receive a paycheck? answer clearly and unequivocally is no. these are choices that no one should have to make. the coronavirus pandemic has
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dramatically undeniably has a need for unpaid leave. too many americans lack access to paid family leave during the pandemic. stating consequences, expanding access to paid leave is a large part of a strong and equitable recovery. just as important, after the year of global pandemic, 600,000 americans killed, why do we tolerate policies that actually create incentive for workers to come to work sick because they cannot afford to take unpaid time off? does anybody believe this is good policy? our committee has been working hard to fix these problems. we champion the provision of the american rescue plan to establish a $570 million i u.s. treasury to combine up to 15
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paid coronavirus leave for federal employees including postal workers and others on the front line providing services to america. this is an essential component of our nation's response to the pandemic. paid leave is just as important for workers facing any kind of a family health crisis. that's why we take necessary next steps by providing paid family and medical leave for all federal employees. let's be clear, paid leave benefits both workers and employers. you don't have to take my word for it, we hear from small business employer on why this policy is good for business. states that adopted paid leave, reporting it's more convenient to administer -- support for national paid leave policy,
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among the largest small businesses is quickly lowering. the federal government has the largest in the nation can and must serve as an example creating a family-friendly workplace. according to a 2018 survey of the national partnership for women and families, americans support paid family and medical leave including large majorities of democrats, independent and republicans. i have introduced versions of this bill 2000. often with public and support. this shouldn't be an issue bipartisan support in washington that has had throughout the entire country. hr 564 is an investment in the people and keeps the government running. we all have an interest in strengthening the federal budget making sure the federal
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government is an employer that attracts and retains. i am encouraged by president biden and vice president harris have made universal paid leave the core of their ambitious american families plan. in addition to establishing national paid leave program, the american families plan makes childcare more affordable, and best in education and make permanent tax that help working families like the child tax credit. the infrastructure needed to bolster economic recovery and help american families. i look forward to working with my colleagues in congress on both sides of the aisle to advance the ministrations plan, help families emerge from the pandemics stronger and more financially secure for the future.
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paid leave for federal employees act one piece of the administration laid out. it will strengthen the federal workforce over the long-term it a roadmap for the federal government to lead by example creating a fair and safe workplace for american families with that, i recognize the distinguished ranking member from the right state of kentucky for his opening statement. >> thank you, madam chair. today's hearing radically leading by example. this committee is holding a hearing remotely when we could walk down the hallway and meet in person to conduct committee business like judiciary did last night, which is next door to the house oversight committee. americans across the country are going back to work. d.c. restaurants are opening at
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full capacity now. cases have dramatically dropped across the nation and members of congress cannot gather on the house floor at the same time but this committee under democrat leadership, refuses to meet in person to do it work and instead hides behind computer screens, it goes against science, it goes against common sense and this is not leading by example. it's past time for the committee to work in person. like just about every other community in washington. we do better work in person. we must lead by example and get back to normal operations just like most americans are expected to do. moving on to today's committee hearing, oversight democrat called a hearing on enhanced work perks for federal bureaucrats.
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that's right. what benefits federal employees who already enjoy job security and marsh the benefits afforded to most american workers. this recent announcement to link the federal workforce is returned to the workplace despite most americans expected to show up for work. meanwhile hard-working americans across the country are still recovering from economic impacts of democrat lockdowns and our nation is facing many crisis due to president biden's disastrous policies. the oversight committee time would be better spent focus on the mission of identifying and preventing government brought abuse mismanagement. entering the government is transparent and accountable to the america people, unlike democrat, americans have been focused on filling our committees mission. every 11th, 133 days ago, republicans called for a hearing on massive unemployment fraud in
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california. for benefits sent from two murderers on death row, organized crime, members in china and russia, refusing to hold a hearing on the gross mismanagement on taxpayer dollars and now it's reported that $400 billion in paid unemployment benefits with as much funds going to international crime organizations. last week rachel wickens offer a hearing on the heist of the century. if not responded to this request. there were 24th, 124 days ago publicans called compel, government and will warm up to testify under oath regarding his get the sending has public positive patient to nursing homes and a subsequent cover up.
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this is a gross abuse of power governor, must be held accountable for his actions resulting in the death of thousands of senior citizens but democrat subpoenaed grammar, no hearing on this issue. every 25th, 123 days ago publicans sought for a hearing on reopening america's ongoing virtual school harming students well-being, family rates, mental health issues and suicide across the board. since we call for a hearing president biden's cdc allowed radical teachers union and scientific guidance effectively recommended 90% of scores remain shuttered. now that the school here from only about half the scores finished up the score you're falling in person. a hearing on this which current to setback the generation? no. march fourth, 112 physical promoters have a hearing on
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president biden water crisis. we reviewed requests to additional times since then. president biden children being held in overcrowded facilities during the pandemic and past legal timeframe, apprehensions at the southwest border are at a 21 yes hi. smuggling industry is booming. drugs are pouring across the border. this is the very definition of government mismanagement and congressional oversight. democrat held multiple hearings on conditions at the border in several order facilities during the trust administration but now that a democrat occupies the white house april 25, 59th as well, calling for a hearing on solitary confinement of d.c. inmate under the excuse of pandemic precautions inmate were held in universal solitary confinement, confined to
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themselves 23 hours a day this is a result of severe effects on inmate, including many sleeping on hours a day, sleeping by themselves, talking to themselves. this should be investigated. this conveys jurisdiction, democrats have failed on this issue. may 24, her publicans calling for investigation into wuhan lab leak. there is evidence communist china started the pandemic covered it up and it's responsible for the deaths of almost 800,000 americans and millions more worldwide. these questions are not a diversion as speaker pelosi has stated. a gift to the proof and accountability. once the democrats respond? they are too busy investigating the trump administration to have time to determine the origination of the covered pandemic. last week republicans called for
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a hearing on the massive taxpayer information from the irs, this committee has a history of conducting strong oversight on government officials who abuse their position for political gain while congressional accountability and oversight. this committee must convene a hearing with biden's ministration officials to understand who is responsible for the release of tax information. what effects, if any the administration is taking to make sure this doesn't happen again. we are waiting for response from the chairwoman. it's past time for this committee to get back to its primary mission. we've already dramatically expanded paid leave for the federal work. today's hearing considering expanded paid leave for even product for federal workers, incredibly distorted. the american people are concerned about the border crisis, abuses of power in government, getting their kids
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back to school and the rising cost of goods and services, better known as inflation. we need to put the american people first, not special interest, of federal bureaucrats. i yield back the balance of my time. >> chair recognizes herself from my dear friend and probably on the other side of the aisle. i doubt -- the great state of kentucky, having a child is a quote perks. it is not a part and to many of us have spent fired, thrown out of the room, because you dared to have a child. many women have six children and when they are sick, they need their mother. if a child is traumatized or sick, what's wrong giving them
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paid leave to be there? we both know most women have to work. most women have to work. most families depend on two incomes. they can't make it on one income. i have federal employees calling me. i have a child who can't even afford their child. there are going to be paid and they need to be with their child. this is not a perk we are talking about. my brother was in vietnam. when he was deployed, it was traumatic to his family. they would want to help ben with him. he was in a war zone. our military, it is a crisis in the family. what we are talking about is
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balance policies, countries in the world already have. the greatest country in the world, can't we respect them? i'd like to respond to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are protective of the private sector. they are very important and pay the taxes for this country. but the private sector is far ahead of the public sector how they treat their employees. they have day care centers, milking centers, they have paid leave, working from home leave, they have all of these things that the federal government does not have. when i had my first child, talking about leave, they said
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leave, we just want you to leave. i said i don't want to leave. they said he will be left first in the history of this establishment to have a baby and come back. i said i am coming back they said you can apply for disability. i said having a child is not a disability, it is a joy, a family value. it something we should celebrate, not punish women for, we should celebrate them. this is the report they felt deserved in our society. we talk about family values, where are they? my whole life i have balance between work and family because i suffered it in my own family. only recently are people seriously talking about it. when he announced it, i thought i had died and gone to heaven. all of these issues, work-family
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balance were being talked about seriously by the president of the united states. it is our job to try to implement them that is what we are doing today. if you do a study comparing the private and public sector, the private sector is doing a much better job really doing work family balance within their companies. most of them have paid leave, on-campus daycare. most of all kinds of services for their employees and federal government you to keep pace. we know we can't pay those same salaries in the private sector, we know that. we have to find people committed to public service but we also have to help them balance their families with the work they have. i now recognize -- >> with all due respect -- >> reclaiming my time --
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[inaudible] >> you went way over your time. [inaudible] >> you don't understand, you are living -- >> the chair needs to be an order, please. come to order, please. >> sick and tired of getting benefits and more perks federal employees because they have to pay for those benefits and perks. >> madam chairwoman. >> you want to raise taxes even more. >> and i recognized? >> you are now recognized for two minutes. >> i think the chairwoman for holding this hearing.
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i add my voice to hers, how saddened i am on this critical issue by the ranking member and too many of his colleagues on the other side of the aisle and desire distract us from the disastrous policies of the trump years including, i might add their management of the pandemic, which is nothing short of catastrophic and tragic and costs hundreds of thousands of lives. i guess the ranking member doesn't want us to remember the president, president trump actually advised people to consider ingestion and other -- >> lies. that's a lie. and you know it. >> not on chairwoman, i have the floor.
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you can shout lie all you want, that doesn't make it true. in fact, he did say that, it was publicly seen. so i am saddened by the attempt to somehow distract us from the subject of this hearing. in fact, i was proud to hold the first hearing on this issue on your behalf, matter chairwoman. proud to serve as an ally with you in the effort to renew helping them is meet the demands of family caregiving response bodies. paid leave, federal employees act, 564 continuing our committee separate, support civil service and family. paid family leave would short the federal government model in protecting families and employees working so hard especially during the pandemic on behalf of the america people.
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dedicated public service, september 2019th -- >> your time has expired. >> matter chairwoman, art asked a little indulgence because i had to seek recognition overly unrecognized -- >> the judgment they finished. >> i think the chairwoman. >> we were successful. the victory lap was short because there's more work to do. we continue to fight on the caregiving leave and caring for one's own medical leave. our brands are paid leave would provide paid leave to federal employees for reasons largely mirrors the family medical leave act of 1993. families for unqualified reasons the offense around active military leave. >> madame chairman, the judgment has not finished his sentence. he's continuing on into the gentleman knows we are attempting regular order not go
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through each and every person. i would ask for two minutes when the gentleman does finish. thank you, adam chairwoman. >> the gentleman makes good points may we now move on and i will give you as much time at the end of hearing to finish. >> madame chairwoman -- >> i now recognize -- >> thank you. i would say it is time to me in person. you cannot lead and other committees are meeting in person. we have others in person yesterday. leading by example themselves. republicans believe federal employees should get the job done for the american people and held accountable for doing so. under president trump executive orders, federal employees could be held accountable as with the american people deserve and not
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what federal employees themselves want. executive order on official time, he sought to ensure federal employees actually did the job they were hired to do. how novel. instead of doing what a union want them to do. democrats on the other hand seem to care less about things. a key component of the democrat return to work plan is to make sure as many federal employees as possible don't actually have to come back to work. what kind of a great idea is that what they are pushing permanent extended work without understanding the impact, nor what it will be. i personally have asked ids across federal agencies to conduct assessments so we could at least have some data on this. now today we looking at ways to get federal employees even more time off on the backs of the
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american taxpayers. democrats are agenda federal work worse issues could be summarized as this. here is a summary of the democrats plan. come to work as little as possible and when you do come, don't worry about doing your job. that's where we are headed with this. congress just provided parental leave for federal workers and not the majority is trying to expand paid leave for all categories on the family family medical leave act. combined with federal holidays and annual leave, federal employees now only have to work about eight months of the year. eight months of the year, are you kidding me? this is absolute insanity and this is what we are told is leading by example? employees don't have to come to work for month of the year? majority doesn't even know how much the program is going to cost. but i can tell you who it is
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going to pay the cost, it will be the american taxpayer. the majority doesn't even know the consequences of this brief the biden ministration has released a tidal wave the unnecessary pandemic add eight veterans to swalwell our country up inflation and out-of-control spending. meanwhile here in this committee, it appears as though we are reading gilligan's island to get federal workers from the issues of the rest of the world facing. armchair, i would agree it's time to lead by example both and having our meetings held in person but also have common sense to the issues we bring as a topic of discussion for this committee and i yield back. >> the judgment yields back and introduction. before i introduce our panelist, i want to recognize mr. welch from the great state of vermont.
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a constituent of his. >> thank you very much. briefly, we are proud of our small business in vermont and i know that is true for others. they are a family affair and the folks who are going to testify, eric and his wife, they have 75 employees and they are taking maple syrup, i would like to share some with my colleagues, it's fantastic. it is helping the economy. they have 75 employees and one of them had cancer. his wife had cancer. he couldn't leave work because he couldn't afford to leave the paycheck. he was absolutely fearful not
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having income. they decided if it doesn't work and you know in georgia and texas, all around me small businesses, they started a family leave policy and able to support a great expense to them this family leave to let that partner take care of his partner so they are going to testify about this and we need to help our small businesses for enormous financial pressure to deal with their commitment to their own employees who they regard as family. look over to introducing him and working with the committee to see if we can make progress on family leave. thank you. >> thank you so much. our next witness about the national cash the american federation of government employees. then we will hear from vicki, senior fellow for paid leave
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policy strategy in the better life lab at new america. we also have the director of policy at the independent form and finally we will hear from renée, interim vice president for economic justice and congressional liberation at the national partnership for women and families. the witnesses will be on muted so we can swear them in. raise your right hand, you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to get the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? but the record show the witness answered in the affirmative. your written statements will be made part of the record. mr. kelly, who are now recognize for your testimony, mr. kelly.
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>> okay, i think i'm ready now. thank you chairwoman and ranking member and members of the meeting. thank you for the opportunity to speak on the family leave. i want to talk about the means and benefits and how it will improve recruitment retention. i believe the foundation of the decisions to serve the america public. federal employees and places we work to perfect citizens maintaining the safety of our nation and social security promote the national defense system prepared. the response of natural and man-made emergency. we greatly appreciate you for your comprehensive paid leave on
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this act to provide federal employees family leave covered under -- in l.a. no federal employees should ever have to choose between caring for a loved one keeping his or her job. met people who have had to choose between supporting their family financially further reference. i've heard stories from employees, correctional officers, social security claims and justice, attorneys caring for their elderly grandparents, parents, children and spouse. he's hard-working services care for electrons, they have traumatic brain injuries and the consequences no one saw coming. raising objections to federal employees, the cost of the
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2010 -- 14. , but we don't know exactly how much it would cost today but we have to make that minimum comparison and the cost of hiring new employees due to lack of comprehensive input and federal employees already have enough paid leave and save for emergencies and necessary to have paid family leave for comprehension. if you miss entirely of paid family leave, it is unpredictability of certain business with paid family leave, that is the reason for the benefit. federal employees not to use this because of the probability of medical disaster struck a family member ignoring the serious about the reasons of paid annual sick leave in the first place. paid sick leave after the
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pandemic, the risk of fellow workers coming to work should have changed their mind. covid-19 is not a virus that can spread it workplace. it's clearly in the interest of any employers, especially an employee who work with the public for working to stay home thus using and will leave for preparation for illness to never be discouraged. the plum and opportunity to emulate paid leave for everybody federal employees are only able to accumulate maximum 30 days and will flee from not enough time for this on the fmla. this would take a federal worker who takes leave in three weeks of sick leave figure, five years for sick and annual leave to receive pay.
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even if a federal worker never got sick and never went on vacation, it would take two years to accumulate enough to pay for 12 weeks of family leave. paid family leave would improve retention of workers who might leave for another job that provides that leave. the federal government currently has contractors and guarantees cost providing paid leave to their workers. those who get federal grant, it should be okay for federal employees. the cover pandemic shows a need for paid leave employees to be able to have time for the needs. this concludes my statement and i'll be happy to answer any questions you might have thank you for the time you've given me today on this most important issue. >> thank you. the judgment yields back.
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>> thank you chairwoman, good morning. thank you for your tireless worship on federal workers paid leave and fmla expansion over many years. thanks to members of the committee thoughtfully having dialogue about paid leave. i'm a senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy at the americas better life lab. the pandemic has shown us we must do better and help public policy and able to care for ourselves and one another. it's underscore universal paid leave must have. momentum toward expanding paid leave has been growing prior to the pandemic. now ten states have adopted paid leave programs but there's still more than 100 million americans workers left behind. one in five private sector workers have access to paid family leave to care for our new child or seriously ill barbara. two and five have access to poor employer divided temporary insurance for personal medical
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leave. for remick leave, there is huge disparities. 38% of the highest wage workers such as 5% of the lowest wage workers have access to paid family leave to the job. access for the higher wage workers has grown 20 percentage points in the last ten years. the lower range workers, is only grown to percentage points. critics asked how can we afford this program the think we have to ask insert, how can a country continue to bear enormous unaffordable unsustainable cost of the status quo? lack of paid leave class family more than $9000. it reduces -- hundreds of thousands of dollars lost for workers money retirement savings. businesses means losing workers, cost of turnover and small businesses from a typical printout. the economy hundreds to $500 billion lost annually.
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congress has made strides on paid leave in recent years including 12 weeks paid leave for federal workers and temporary limited measures put in place for the pandemic. now it next steps. for federal workers, i urge you to enact the copperheads of paid leave for federal employees act to make the federal government employer of choice, for important groups of workers help make the federal workforce diverse and inclusive and contribute to better input and better outcome. first, younger workers, it's not enough to attract younger workers are members of federal employees at retirement age. generation x, millennial's jen the are increasingly caring for older adults and often for children and older but once at the same time. when people of color caregiving response muddies in households in the federal government has a lot of work to attract these workers. 40% of federal workers are women
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and workers of color are underrepresented at senior level. hiring people with disability's revoke the federal government, workplace benefit for most, it could help disburse the member. we have to work on the federal government as an employee and focus on federal government people, businesses and the economy. as we emerge from the deadly crisis, it's exacerbated gender, racial and economic disparities and we can the workforce, it's time for paid leave for all is a national priority. paid that family leave expense has values from well-crafted, well and promoted national paid leave plan. first, the women's labor force dissipation in children's and healthcare utilization. third, meant greater engagement with families. outcomes in healthcare costs for disabled people and more economic security for caregivers.
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this reduces the need for staff and public assistance six, retouch benefits businesses, especially small businesses. the american family plan for family and building an economy for families act, each proposed public investments are paid leave for all working people no matter where they live or work permit their job or personal health or family care heat. these proposals make available patently prevalent, gender equal paid leave with inclusive definition of family. employers could use more and limit their books about it. paid leave reports work, strengthens people in the workforce and promote retention. the plan would reduce workers by 85%. national paid leave with boost $2.4 trillion enabling poor people to work with demands for goods and services by increasing
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household incomes. at the end of the day, this is about values that unite us like love, responsibly, dignity and care. it's been by the side of a (dying or recovering from seeing a baby's first smile or getting medical care you need without sacrificing family you love and support. it is not a lecturing and not a necessity i look forward to working with you, there's no time to waste and i'm excited to answer questions. thank you. >> thank you. mr. sorkin, you are recognized for your testimony. >> thank you members of the committee for this opportunity. thank you for the generous introduction and your steadfast support of small businesses throughout the pandemic. i appreciate the opportunity to testify today on the urgent need for robust public investment in care infrastructure including eight family medical leave. thank you chairwoman maloney for your strong leadership and commitment to expanding
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copperheads of pay leave for federal employees act. my name is eric, i am here with my wife, laura. serve any fracturing businesses 75 employees. i'm speaking as a member of the mainstreet alliance national network more than 30,000 small business owners. imprints of paid family medical leave became crystal clear to me during our first few years in business. of the time we had just about ten employees. i learned the wife of one of our employees losing the battle to terminal cancel in the middle of the season and the hours are long and unpredictable. our employee had becoming to work in the middle of this terrible ordeal because he wasn't in the position to miss a paycheck or risk losing his job. he believed he couldn't afford to spend time with her even though he desperately needed to.
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in that moment without even realizing it, we launched our companies paid family medical leave policy we told our employer to take the time he did to care for his wife and we continue to pay even with our small community, it wasn't a remotely hard decision. nobody, least of all those in the most precarious financial positions should have to choose between getting paid or taking care of loved ones or their health. likewise, why we have a system for small business owners feel as if they must choose between their own profitability rubbing up their invoice, it's a recipe for pork choices and bad outcomes on both sides. since then, numerous members of our team have been offered this time to care for reference or maternity leave. the past few months, a longtime employee contracted meningitis and was out for weeks battle
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this. another employee was sexually assaulted and i struggled with her mental health continues. the last thing either then is worried about being paid. as business owners, we do everything we can to support our employees and help they would want to do the same for us i personally believe the return on paid leave his many time expenses, pain from family medical leave is possible. the financial burden on our own business has been significant particularly in the early years before we were profitable. several times putting a year ago, we have looked into short-term disability insurance, we hope this might be a solution but on partly we found the policies available and affordable. that's why we have been active in the state campaigns with paid family medical leave. the idea is straightforward. set aside a few dollars each week for employees for a fund, when an employee goes out on leave, the fund pays the
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employer's salary. as return, i have their salary to hire a replacement worker or cover over time. the solution would be huge over the current system where we face unpredictable sharp policies and somebody goes out on leave. majority of small business owners across the spectrum support this solution must support from those in committed. public brought this home as a business, prioritizing employee safety was hand-in-hand protecting our business and the help of our community. from my business, but counters were quite significant in about 80% of our front-line workers needed time off during carpet. the other two pointing or recover. as a small company, absorbing all those costs in such a short period of time would have been a tremendous challenge. this federally enacted family first rise response act was extremely help to our company as
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we navigated carpet. this could have been tough decisions, most critical during this time brief doing the right thing as a small business owner should always, asking to cover expenses out of pocket is asking quite a lot in the alternative is asking for workers to go without coverage, and that is no solution at all. it's a small business for those who work for them by creating national paid leave solution, you're creating more of a playing field for workers and all smaller business owners. as congress considers long-term economic infrastructure and recovery package from a national permanent paid leave policy and program must be a priority paid leave is not just what small business employees deserve, it's vital for keeping our entire community safe and economy resilient. take you for your time and attention. i look forward to answering questions you may have. >> thank you. the gentleman yelled back.
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>> thank you. director of policy for independent women's forum and a senior fellow. i'm the mother of three young children in high have taken three paid maternity leave in five years so i certainly appreciate the importance of this issue. in my role, i also manage group of female employees on maternity leave so i understand how it impacts employers as well. expanding access to paid family medical leave physical i support but the real question is how? monikers should keep in mind the government is in some ways, a unique employer and should not serve as a model for all private sector employers in the industry, labor force and resources. the government can increase taxes are used deficit spending for employees. private sectors cannot. many immigrant businesses suffered or shuttered as a
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result of the covered pandemic in our still struggling to recover if they will at all. those businesses are not contemplating extension of benefits for their employees because they simply lack the resources they would do more harm than in order to open their doors or create new jobs, they must offer generous pay leave benefits to follow the models set by this proposed legislation. the access to paid leave in the grass attacks with economic trends. at the height of the pre-pandemic economy, more and more u.s. apartments payers to retract and retain workers in the labor market. one question for lawmakers to consider is whether the federal government now as an employer enhances compensation benefits are forced to compete. if the answer no product to offer greater benefits than necessary is simply taxpayer
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dollars. in reality, federal workforce has access to marked benefits and private sector workers and on average, federal boys are complicated better. average salary is $85000. this is significantly greater than the total household income for the general u.s. population. over 50% employees have a bachelors degree or higher compared to 36% in the general population with this means copperheads of paid leave for federal employees act would be taxing relatively less resourced population to provide special and perhaps unnecessary benefits for federal workers already relatively privileged. similarly, other proposed legislation like the family act create a national paid leave entitlement and would also exacerbate income inequality. government pay for medical has been shown to disprove money from low income with those from higher income. usually, canada, sweden, iceland, belgium and norway have demonstrated that. this included in norway, this
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constitutes a transfer to middle income families with least in the society. this is regressive, not progressive. even if the problem of black paid family medical leave is most pronounced among low income. they should not establish a disadvantaged group in provo. another potential downside market benefit may actually create incentive for discrimination against certain groups including women, elderly workers and workers with significant medical issues because these groups are more likely to take advantage of the benefits and employer's notice. research has documented this correlation between more generous to paid family medical leave writer pay cap. finally, we must consider costs. so far, there's been no cost estimate for the copperheads of paid leave for federal employees act but in addition to the taxpayers, federal government
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will raise others when they are not present after jobs while using these benefits offered in these legislation. while we all thought workers with mammoth medical emergency is to have the option to take time away from work, the book title employers increased absenteeism and turnover. employers develop employees alike taking on the burden of clinker workers throughout the case of the federal government, the institution we all rely on to do people's work may become slower, less efficient and less responsive to citizens it serves. the government is unlike other employers in many ways which is why it should not comprehensive a family medical leave. instituting universal policies lawmakers should focus government interventions on helping those who need support most while otherwise allowing businesses and employees to continue to find their own personalized solutions that work best for them. thank you. >> thank you.
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she yelled back. recognized for your testimony. >> good morning members of the committee. my name is elaine, and the vice president for economic congressional relations of the national internship for women and families. i'm pleased to join, congressional employees. this issue is deeply personal for me having spent more than a decade working in the administration and congress. growing up, i came to understand the importance of access to paid leave when i was 16, working at a family restaurant in pensacola, florida. i was surrounded by hard-working moms, there's one in particular who left a mark on me. when he didn't have a lot of diners, tony withheld her story about how she went into labor at the restaurant and went across the street to the hospital, delivered her baby and was back the next day for sunday money rush.
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people were not there heads in admiration but even better, and she was faced with an impossible choice. getting her paycheck or caring for her family. in 2013 when my husband and i discovered i was pregnant, we felt excited and scared. i was working at the department of housing and urban development and he was employed by the house of representatives. i recalled tony's story and knew i wanted to take the full 12 weeks of time off allowed under the mla to bond promote recovery and acclimate to parenthood. at the time, the federal government did not have a paid leave policy. you have to take time off without pay or use your leave if you have enough available. , getting manners, finding out i had an incompetent survey and immediately put on bed rest for four months. thankfully i was given a pregnancy accommodation but allowed me to work from home while on bed rest. at the time this was unusual because it felt like a
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privilege, i worked extra hard throughout my difficult pregnancy to avoid the appearance taking advantage of the situation. the diagnosis meant i needed to go to the doctor every week. and a specialist every few weeks. requiring more time off. an hour or two each week took away the time i was trying to save for. plus are sent to the hospital twice which eroded my time off even more. it was stressful and i was desperate to make up time in the hospital. i answered e-mails and made phone calls because every moment i spent caring for myself and my pregnancy meant losing money and time later. like so many women of color, i face the challenge of navigating pregnancy health publications without the paid leave i needed to care for myself and my family. despite best efforts in july, my son jack born six weeks prematurely and a movie brought to the intensive care unit.
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that same day, transportation appropriations bill was on the senate floor. i kept responding to e-mails that morning because i didn't know how long jack would be in the nicu and a new it was one more day without a paycheck. in the end -- [silence] >> i apologize, we are now reconvening. i recognize for five minutes. democrats have been fighting for years the company has a paid family and medical leave. i am proud to vote for the family and medical leave act in 1994 renting 12 weeks of unpaid leave so people would be fired for having a child. probably after, senator joe
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biden wrote and started working for paid leave. i'm proud of the work the core committee did in the successful passage of paid parental leave, federal employees 2019. over the last year we see countless families continue to suffer because our nations feel nationwide leave on the medical fee policy. president biden and vice president harris put forth the a. >> and families plan which includes historic investment in universal paid leave for every american family. what is a nation wide paid the policy important for the pandemic recovery how will it help american families for the future? >> thank you so much for the question.
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throughout the pandemic, we saw enormous numbers of people who left the workforce because of caregiving response bodies. some of it has to do with children unexpectedly out of school or care. some of it had to do with caring for older adult, some but had to do with personal health consequences of covid-19 south. we need paid leave long before the pandemic, we urgently need paid leave coming out of the pandemic but the pandemic brought us particular connecting in between gender leave of caregiving and workforce. we have nearly 2 billion women still out of the workforce, many of them because of caregiving. this is unsustainable, it will take women more than a year to get back to work at participation levels since before the pandemic. this is one intervention that will help that but more than that, help create more inclusive
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workforce for women, people of color, busybodies, families multi generational a long time to come. >> thank you. would you agree permanent expansion of paid leave for all federal employees will help strengthen the federal workforce? unmute, please. >> thank you, chairwoman. i certainly agree with that. i have said this before, one of the major problems i think the federal government has, it doesn't offer a good package to retain employees. it is important that we do that. >> i comprehensive paid leave bill, do not pay for federal employees, the bill will ensure
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employees have access to paid leave in the event of personal or family emergency. ... as we've also heard a comprehensive paid program is good for business. you discussed the reasons why you made the decision to offer paid to family medical leave to your employees. how would a comprehensive national paid leave program help small businesses like yours? >> i appreciate the opportunity to respond.
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the burden falls directly on business owners and employees to come up with a solution. either way it ends up being costly and it would offer peace of mind and it would level the playing field. >> thank you. we will continue to work to enact for all employees and federal government and the private sector. i urge my republican colleagues to work with us to make paid family medical leave a reality for american families. i now yield to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman. mr. norman, you are now recognized. >> thank you, chairman loney. i am really shocked at even
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having this hearing. this is a three ring circus. this is an insult to the american taxpayers. here's the words i've heard from some witnesses. love, caring, caregiving. ms. maloney, i think you mentioned, one of the witnesses mentioned strengthening the federal workforce. i don't have to tell anybody elicit to this hearing you know, our cities are burning, police forces are being decimated because they are being defunded by this administration. crime shootings are up, illegals are coming across the border. one of the witnesses mentioned protecting our borders. we've got cartels that are making have a million dollars a month, we've got the administration that won't even go down there.
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our businesses have been shut down for a year and a half. we can't get workers. you go to mcdonald's that i did and get put on a limit to buy because $13 because there were two people in the store. they couldn't get people to come back. lumber prices are up 400% and we are having a hearing on paying federal workers to work. this is an insult to the taxpayer. it really is. who is going to pay for this? we didn't even have the courage to have a ceo score. 30 trillion in debt. where is the caring for the small businesses that are our lifeblood? i don't need to tell anybody the federal government needs to be cut. we need to get the federal government out of our lives, not more in our lives and with this administration is doing with of the 2 million illegals coming in the country is expanding the federal government.
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why don't you just let them -- for months, put six months. i can tell you one thing, small businesses don't get six months off. i can tell you the small businesses that support the federal government, this is a back break along with the taxes that this administration is proposing. it's not your money. the politicians got it wrong. it's not your money. it's the people's money. and i'm sick and tired of this charade we are having. i like you as a person and we have asked you time and time again to have hearings on inflation and what we are going to do to solve problems. let's pay the police for a change. and here we are wasting time not even letting us come to the hearing room when we had a guy in a wheelchair that showed up.
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this is an insult to everybody, particularly the taxpayers. the taxpayers deserve better than this. this country the shape we are in, we are having a hearing on paying people more money to stay out of work. the states formed the federal government, not vice versa. they work for us, not vice versa. i really don't have any questions for the rehearsed responses from the witnesses. i guess thank you for coming, but you know, this is a complete waste of time. but thank you, anyway, and i guess we will carry on with the hearing. i yield the balance -- [inaudible] >> the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, ms. norton, is recognized. missus norton. >> thank you very much, madam chair. this is an important hearing for a number of reasons.
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i particularly appreciate that you are having this early hearing now because this bill has been in effect for nine months. so it is the time to see if it has made any difference. and it makes a difference that the federal government was first. we ought to lead the way for the private sector. it looks like they are leading the way in many ways. for the federal government to lead the way to show that it works or doesn't work is exactly what we needed and this hearing enables us to see well, does it work or not. that's why my first question is for mr. kelly. we are nine months into this bill, just in time to look back to see how it has affected federal employees. i know it's early, but it would
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help to know you've already said that it affected employee morale. but can you tell us had it affected retention? do we know this early whether it affects retention at the time that we know people are looking forward and we wouldn't want to lose experienced workers. do we have any information on that at this time? >> thank you, representative norton. i can't say that we have any concrete documentation but what i will tell you is that we have had so many employees utilize these opportunities.
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i think that it will have an impact because employees are grateful for the bill passed and it gives them an opportunity to use this which is different and equally important to what is being proposed now. i hope that answers your question. >> i hope that your union will find a way to see what the affect is and also the federal government should do that. and i know that importantly, this bill affects adoption and fostering a child as well. something that's very important to parenting at this time. why is paid parental leave not enough to support workers and
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their families? >> thank you so much for the question, representative. so, parental leave is used it's about one quarter of the time people take leave. about one fifth are caring for an older one, loved one with a disability, and for serious health issues. so most are to care for yourself or a loved one. this will be exacerbated as the population shifts. we have an older population now. we have fewer people available to family members to care for older loved ones because of the population. so caring for yourself and a loved one, very critical and will become so more overtime. >> thank you very much. that's important to know. madam chair, this has been an important hearing and you have conducted it i think appropriately at a time we can
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begin to measure its affect. it's a first step and i thank you for the hearing allowing us to monitor where we are. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas, you are recognized. >> thank you, chairwoman. thank you for holding the hearing and giving us an opportunity to speak to these issues. i would like to echo the ranking member's sentiment on the importance of having these hearings being available in person if nothing else the challenges we've experienced today echo just how important that is. i would like to talk about what's going on in this committee first of all and that is we are supposed to be the oversight committee. these are a central job is to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used effectively and that we weed out the waste, fraud and
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abuse. currently we have a border crisis going on with hundreds of millions of dollars going out often in no-bid contracts. we have economic and inflation crisis worth looking into. we have unemployment benefits fraud. some reports say nearly half of the unemployment benefits by the government it's estimated that amount could be as high as $400 billion, which would be the largest, my understanding is the largest case in the nation's history. we have the origins we should be looking into and to cyber attacks. these are existential threats to the nation and certainly the preeminence we've enjoyed on the world stage. we need to be able to address these things and i would encourage the committee to take these up. this is extremely important for us to build our essential duty. i appreciated the chairwoman's
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passion about the private sector and federal civilian workforce if only the data backed it up, that would be something. but federal data from the u.s. bureau of economic analysis in 2018 said the federal civilian workforce had an average wage of over 94,000 where the average for the private sector was about 63,000 and so, the notion that the federal workforce right now is lagging behind the private workforce that is funding the federal workforce just doesn't stand up to the available data and i would say right now is the wrong time and we are working to recover from the economy. right now our offices have daily casework and one of the big issue is we are dealing with right now is fsa offices. farmers are having trouble getting their claims process,
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the applications process. veterans we are dealing with a va benefit processing that is woefully behind. the passport expedited process is now weeks long. the irs is hopelessly backlogged and so all this time when we have some very good federal workers continuing to work and do their due diligence but a number of them in the words of our constituents are not working and it's been difficult to keep up with the pace of supporting and serving the people who elected us to serve. but i want to touch on what is the heart of this issue that politicians sometimes get away with the idea we can measure our personal compassion by how much money we give away and that is really a false sentiment because truly everyone on this issue wants families to prosper and be taken care of. we want moms to be taken care of, adopted parents to be taken care of. the question is how do we create
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a sustainable model that meets the needs but doesn't steal opportunity from the next generation so we have a couple different models to put a burden on the american taxpayer often with deficit spending as we are $30 trillion in debt stealing from the next generations opportunities to have the same sort of benefits which i think is questionably immoral. we need to meet the obligations with this generations resources and so one model that does work and what we were seeing working is the organic approach and that is for us to have a thriving economy where a year and a half ago we sell wages increase and because of that we had a competitive workforce and employers had the economic wherewithal because we had a booming economy to create a competitive workforce that began to offer these sort of services in a sustainable model.
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that provides benefits over time without hurting the next generation. the important thing is we realize the heart of what we are trying to accomplish but the way to go about it. too often we see the government coming in and creating problems before stepping in to solve them. we see that in the latest crime spree and issues happening right now so let's have a better approach to these issues and let the american people do the work they are so great at doing and i will yield back. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> thank you madam chairwoman. the federal workforce, think about this. 20% of the private sector workforce is under the age of 30
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and 7% of the workforce is under 30. as of april of this year, 300,000 federal employees are eligible to retire. 13.5% and within five years that number will go from 13.5% to 30%. you testified that comprehensive leave for employees will help maintain the workforce for the future. do you want to elaborate a little bit on that as was pointed out earlier in the
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hearing. >> thank you for that question. the answer has two parts. with respect to the chairwoman, i want to reiterate it isn't doing great for most workers. it's doing okay and some of the workers that are the equivalent to the federal workforce with more education it's not doing great for middle income and lower wage workers. it's only increased by two percentage points in the last ten years. so those workers are not doing great. however, many workers, 53 million are caregivers to older adults or children with special needs. 11 million are caring for a child and an adult who has a disability or illness or injury. more than half of those are millennial's and another 25% or
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so our generation x. 6% are generation z. so thinking about building the kind of workplaces that meet the needs of younger workers provides a way to continue for at least five years, maybe longer. we have to put in place workplace policies but also in the private sector for workers overall. this is why we need both paid leave benefits that helps attract workers but also why we need a baseline for everybody. it's an issue for the country -- >> from your vantage point, what about that? how are we going to recruit and maintain the workforce of the future from your point of view if we are not addressing issues such as the one that is the subject of this hearing today? >> i appreciate that question
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because we have to address this. unless we forget covid-19 taught us a lot. that now is the time to address issues because what we saw was so many families struggling to take care of their families during covid-19. it's more and more prevalent. i'm going to give you an example. i know a member, a single mother in the state of alabama who had a son kind of hanging out with some of the wrong people, got himself into trouble doing some things he shouldn't and the people he thought were his friends [inaudible] he ended up paralyzed and his
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mother almost lost her job as a result because she used all of her leave and therefore they dismissed her because of her abuse of leave. she wasn't abusing it. she was taking care of her son. she was the only family member he had to take care of him and so because they were able to sa her job is the only reason she didn't have to go bankrupt, she didn't lose her home. there are numbers of stories like this that tells us this is the right time to have this discussion. >> thank you. i yelled back. >> the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. mr. grossman. >> last week we passed a bill that i voted for but it had some misgivings because we were
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adding another paid day off for federal employees that i don't think will be reciprocated by the majority. twelve weeks of paid leave that this benefit would provide, 12 paid holidays, 20 days of paid vacation, 13 days of paid sick leave. we got to about four months of paid leave for federal employees. could you compare that to kind of what's going on in the private sector? >> sure and i will emphasize on how benefits are qualified or measured about the bureau of statistics does keep track of how many full-time and part-time workers have access to different types so while it is true nearly 90% of full-time workers have access to paid vacation time or paid leave of some type that reality is when you start to talk specifically about benefits
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that are quantified or qualified as paid family leave it is a much lower number and only 5% of part-time workers have access and then if you want to get industry-specific which is helpful when you start to think about the competitiveness of the federal government as an employer, 30% of workers and the finance insurance sector have 33%, 27% of professional technical services and so the point of this is to say not even half of the workers in the highest paying fields have access to any type of paid medical leave so i don't know that it is justifiable for the federal government to say we need 12 weeks of paid leave for any reason in order to be competitive certainly not where the private sector is and if you look at companies, specific like
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netflix or the bill and melinda gates foundation leading with the most generation types, you can say they are keeping up with those employers but when you look at the average or the portions of different industries, it's not of the industry standards to offer 12 weeks of paid time off. >> were there any unintended consequences for the guys who pay the bills in the private sector? >> absolutely. i think maybe one misperception i would like to dispel if i may is that the current leading proposal to establish a comprehensive national paid leave entitlement would be paid for with a new payroll tax and you can establish a payroll tax on employers but they recognize as do most it is simply is passed along to employees in the form of lower wages and so we
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are talking about not just increased taxation costs but lower wages as a result fewer economic opportunities, fewer new jobs. that is simply the reality when you raise the cost, you get less employment so i think it's to say only businesses or employers will bear the cost of comprehensive paid leave policies at least in the popular leading proposals that democrats have advanced like the family act. there are others i would be happy to talk about some with less downsizing fewer trade-offs, better individual choice for the workers and lower cost for taxpayers. but if we are talking about establishing a paid leave entitlement, the possibility and disproportionately by low income workers. >> a general question for any of you always in financial straits does anybody have any estimates
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on what the cost will be for the postal service? >> nobody's thought of that? okay. next question. has anybody thought of the effect it would have on the post office as people take off to deliver mail effectively on a timely basis? i know there are people doing work of any sort in this country right now. anybody thought that through? [inaudible] something to think about before we move ahead with this bill. do you feel the federal government has this big expansion in your opinion? >> i indicated in my testimony i think just like any other employer, the federal government has to set the policies but i do
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not think the federal government is a model for other employers in the nation. it's different in important ways. we have a stake in the federal government resources and in some of the ways other companies choose to operate i really feel the federal government is a unique employer and shouldn't be used as sort of the model for others. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. >> madam chair, thank you for calling this important hearing, paid family medical leave is a fixture in advanced countries around the world and i think a lot of them look at america with some shock that the wealthiest
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country on earth doesn't provide paid family medical leave for public and private sector employees, and obviously there's a campaign going on against paid family medical leave for workers in either the public or private sector and i think another piece of the campaign is putting public and private workers against each other as if public school teachers and letter carriers are married to people that are small businesspeople and engineers. the public sector and private sector intertwine and in america the federal government is actually the largest employer with 2.6 million employees, tens of thousands of them live in my district. these are hard-working patriotic people who are working in every department from park service, interior department to the department of defense to the department of justice and people
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who make it possible for the country to operate because we need the government in order to make the society work. unless there are any anarchists out there were members on the panel, i think everybody has to agree some of the attacks are in proper and sounded very antiquated and obsolete to me. but in any event, 85% of federal workers don't live in the dc area. they live across the country and they are doing the work whether it's for the department of agriculture, the department of commerce or homeland security. we have them in all of our states and districts. but i want to ask -- i hope i pronounce your name right -- i want to ask about the public health dimension of this because as we went through the discussion with the general
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assembly, one of the things that became very clear to us, democrats and republicans alike it's that we don't want people going to work when they are sick and you would think that covid-19 would have taught us that. there's a new report that just came out about the teams of doctors president trump had to take care of to save them from covid-19 when he rushed into going out without a mask and knowing everybody that would magically disappear and just to use hydroxychloroquine but he had teams trying to rescue him from his own folly and recklessness. most americans don't have that. so if somebody gets sick, don't we want them to stay home? do we want to create a financial incentive to go to work and spread whatever it is they have? >> absolutely not. thank you for bringing this up.
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congress was smart at the beginning of the pandemic in the response act which though limited in terms of its scope and who it applied to, it impacted the contagion of covid-19 and its estimated 15,000 covid cases per day nationwide. so that alone speaks to the importance of time to stay home and recover and keep yourself and family and workplace safe. more than that as we think about the need for paid family leave and paid medical leave, there are untold numbers of long-haul covid survivors and about 25% of them are expected to have symptoms, chronic, intermittent symptoms that continue. we need paid sick time and medical leave for longer-term conditions. research shows people come back to work more quickly and are more productive. it's good for them obviously, their family and employer.
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>> thank you so much. now let me turn over to you. two quick questions. one is are you aware of other businesses in your industry that also pay people and i think there's some suggestion that american workers in the public sector and private sector will cheat if they've got the medical leave they will and then to sicknesses and pretend somebody's got cancer, they will pretend somebody has leukemia that they will fake it. like we are a nation of conmen and con women. but doesn't your experience tell us are people breaking the system and ripping you off? >> to the first question, thank you. to answer the first question small businesses like mine it is very unusual to find small businesses that are willing to absorb the expense. in my experience we have not seen people abusing the system.
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i think that it accounts less than 1% or 2% and consistently less particularly in a small business we know our employees and it is just much less likely to happen. >> i now recognize the gentleman from louisiana. mr. higgins. >> thank you, madam chair. i am very sorry that all of america is paying attention and we've heard our colleagues feelings by actually showing up in person for oversight committee service. america faces an unprecedented labor shortage. massive challenges that cause our economic recovery to
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struggle because of the majority's decision to spend trillions of dollars in deficit spending, paying people to stay home. every bit from sea to shining sea that i've had a conversation with either in person, on the telephone and digital town halls through social media, through direct contact and interaction, meeting with large business organizations that represent the needs and interests of the nation and economic recovery on behalf of employers. the story is the same. we have an incredible challenge facing america today because our workforce is staying home. why are they staying home? because the democratic majority spent trillions of american dollars that we don't have to pay to stay home. and the democrats answer to that
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is to hold a virtual committee hearing suggesting that we should pay more people to stay home. it's insulting and abhorrent. the nation is struggling to recover from this virus. working americans are fighting to survive. employers cannot find employees. we faced $31 trillion in debt. it's wrong on many levels for congress to suggest that federal employees need more time off. i had thought to submit for the record a list of benefits for federal employees right now and paid leave right now that federal employees enjoy. most do not have anything close to that level of benefits and paid leave. but i decided not to because i challenge america. america, i'm talking to you now.
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please, do some research and look at what your federal counterparts in your industry and your background, your profession, your area of expertise, compare that to what you've got and what your family faces. i ask america to do its own research. i appreciate the panelists for being here today. this is not the kind of hearing oversight should be conducting and what we do investigate should be done in person. that's my opinion and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, chairwoman. thank you all so much for this hearing. i think for my district which is the third congressional district in the country this hearing, you know, for my residence is important as we really do our
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due diligence to oversee how oversight, with the policies are and what the impact is. you all know if anything covid has exposed this pandemic, it's exposed to the systems are set up in a way that doesn't really allow our residents and people to thrive which does impact our small businesses. so it's important as a mother of two and i still remember, chairwoman, working at an organization to change the world. i went to law school to do that and that's what i wanted to do -- for me, i brought my child to work. he was in the playpen right behind my desk and i nursed him there at my desk and did my conference calls. but i was exhausted. even thinking about it i remember breaking down several times in two years because i was tired and didn't get enough sleep and it is just exhausting. we should not have to, you know,
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live this way. in one of the most wealthiest countries in the world. for me, i know many folks on the panel may or may not know and i want to ask you all the majority of my colleagues in congress, and no offense to those that are doing well, the majority of them are millionaires. they are completely disconnected to what this hearing is about. they really, truly are. they are living somewhere in a root connected to the pain and the systems on the ground but again because it isn't touching their lives, they are not going to lead with about compassion that i think is needed in congress. and so, you know, my question very much -- and i don't know -- thank you for testifying today, and again i think you can also answer this for my district, i want to hear from you all.
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the trauma we are creating, and talk a little bit about this to our children because i know and i see it where we are allowing our children to not get the care they need or to get the emotional healthcare we need to be able to provide for them and to fully be there raising our children so can you all talk a little bit about that and talk about even again, covid, anything the pandemic exposed but my residence have been telling me for years now, like it's not working. it's not sustainable. i can't get the hours. i can start with you and then go to eric and ms. manning. >> thank you for the question. so you know, one of the things we've learned about the impact
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lower rates of maternal depression, high rates of breast-feeding and children immunized, lower rates of head trauma and better educational outcomes. to your point about the congress being disconnected, 85% of americans, 84% overwhelmingly want congress to enact the paid family medical leave act. they are willing to pay for this program and willing to have the wealthy pay for the program, whatever the financing source including themselves, they want this done. thank you so much for your question. >> thank you, congresswoman. i appreciate the opportunity to chime in as well. looking back at covid, it was clear to us as a business that the first line of defense for employee safety was to make sure folks that were sick or potentially exposed wouldn't come into work but the truth of
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it is just asking employees to stay home without offering them pay is just preposterous. you can't expect lower wage employees to make that choice so you know, the families first coronavirus response is essential for us and a program like that i think it is plain as day we want to have safe communities and safe workplaces. a. >> to chime in briefly, my last pregnancy during the pandemic and having a child during a pandemic it was very hard and part of the reason it was challenging is the social isolation and lack of community support that's usually there and i'm hopeful we can get back to a place as a country where there will be more freedom and comfort interacting with grandparents and the rest of the church community and so forth. the paid leave policy is very important and that's why i just want to be sure that the
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solutions we are considering and pursuing are the ones that come with a least downside like it's true public and private sector workers are married to each other. we are in this together and part of the american community, so are the taxpayers and families. families are taxpayers. they are not two separate groups of people so we have to be considerate of our needs as working moms and dads and families and also the bottom line when it comes to our incomes and how much resources -- >> if i may, chairwoman, a final answer, please. >> actually, your time is expired so they will have to submit it for the record. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. the logic of not having this hearing take place in person, the fact we are having it 100%
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virtually is baffling. the covid-19 requirements have been lifted across the nation including in washington, d.c. all anyone has to do that is watching this proceeding is turn on c-span later on when we are all on the house floor including the speaker, democratic leadership, republican leadership, all of us gathered together exactly like we should be doing in this committee, and not conducting 100% in person committee meetings is a barrier to effectively serving the people we work for, the people we represent. the people i represent and all of us american america go to work every day and get the job done. our job here in congress, to represent them should be no different as we tackle the challenges that face our nation.
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so, getting into why we are here, ms. manning, what are some of the examples of the reasons why federal employees use fmla? >> i imagine federal employees use it for the same reason private sector workers might use fmla for the birth of the child or medical emergency for caregiving and so forth. >> a personal illness or the birth of a child, those illnesses whether they be emotional or physical. >> i believe they have to get approval from a healthcare professional. >> during 2020, congress directed dollars towards programs to assist federal employees who had to stay home due to covid-19. ms. manning do we have all of the performance data to
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determine how beneficial this policy was? >> i don't know if someone else has that data. i do not have it. >> the proposal we are discussing today would allow the federal employees to take weeks of paid leave for any reason under fmla. is there any estimate that you would have seen that would cost the taxpayers? >> no. taking a look at what we are doing, all americans including those in government and those that work for state and municipal authorities and private sector businesses of all sides deserve to be able to take the time we need to either attend to their own health or assist a loved one. these benefits should be flexible and workable for employers and employees. we need to be helping employers grow their business so they can
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provide the benefits to their employees. the majority proposal under the discussion today is federal employees when you include all of the time that they would have for holidays and so on, that is one third of the year. the thing i want to take a look at as a former small business operator, the standards are flat-out not workable having hard-working taxpayers foot the bill for this just is not responsible good policy. and i want to give you an example of when my son was in the hospital on life support. the employer that i worked for i had to check every week because they could afford to do it. that's what our employers do. as i mentioned in a hearing with
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secretary walsh i asked if he believed that the small businesses in america cared about the health and welfare of their employees and after the second time i got him to admit he did and i believe that of the people i represent, i don't think they need the government telling them what the right thing to do is. if the business can afford to do it and somebody in their team needs help, they will do it. if there is a member of a team in my office that has an issue, i would certainly afford them the time to deal with that issue. having a law telling us what
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behavior we should have as human beings is just big government. not having the trust in the american people to do the right thing. that's where i am different than a lot of my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle are different we have that faith in the american people and the individuals that we don't need the government to try to legislate morality. thank you and i will yield back. >> the gentlewoman from the great state of new york is now recognized. >> chairwoman maloney, you know, we just heard some examples about what may or may not happen with paid leave. i would like to provide quickly before i start my example when we first started and opened our office i decided to offer, not even offer, we decided as a matter of policy that we were
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going to provide three months of parental leave for all parents briefing, non-birthing, adoptive et cetera. and that includes fathers as well. what we have found is that it's been a profoundly successful policy. but i think also to counter on the plane that was immediately made is that having time with our families shouldn't be a matter of charity or possibility. the fact of the matter is deciding on having paid leave and the decision and ability to have paid leave isn't about how good or charitable your employer is. it's not about whether they are a good person and it certainly shouldn't be about whether it is profitable for a business. it should be about the importance of value of family and human beings and these are rights for us.
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parents, mothers, fathers, the human development of children should not be decided by how profitable the leave is for a business. it should be a right afforded to all parents and people and all human beings. moving on, i think i want to narrow in on that. let's talk about fathers and the rights of the fathers to have parental leave and all non-birthing parents as well. being a parent, mom, dad et cetera looks different for every family and we don't have to subscribe to this binary of a parent that has physically birthday child needs or deserves more leaves or times and a non-birthing parent. the fact is we need to have leave for all parents because
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both, even if you have a birthing parent, you cannot do that alone. i want to dig into that a little bit. you and your colleagues at the national partnership for women and families recently published your findings on the need of fathers for having paid family and medical leave. you stated something earlier and i apologize for the redundancy but i think it is critical for some of my colleagues to hear this again. you said that just 5% of fathers and professional jobs took more than two weeks off after the most recent child was born, correct? >> yes. >> and we know that low income dads have it even worse because of the lack of paid leave. one study showed nearly 60% of dads reported taking zero weeks of time away after the birth or adoption of a child. does that sound about right?
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>> yes. and we know the first year after the child's birth or adoption is critical to their development or adjustment inside a new home. so, fathers are more likely to remain involved in parenting and to divide household chores with their partners if they take time off after their child is born, right? >> that's right. >> and it's true that new moms and new birthing parents have fewer postpartum health complications and improved mental health when new dads also take parental leave, right, or paid leave. >> yes. >> so, dads and non-birthing parents taking paid leave is good for the parent, the birthing parent, the mom and baby. in my home state in new york, women make up about half of the
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new york labor force. you know, and i think one of the things we have seen in my personal experience we have fully paid parental leave and we have had a couple of new dads in my office take it and one of the things i've noticed so much is that after eventually we all go back to work and sometimes they bring in the baby and we will bring our whole families together in gatherings and we see that. mom's essay thank you so much for letting my husband stay with me because i could not recover physically and handle a new baby and try to keep a home together all by myself. so i'm wondering how do you think this contributes to income inequity between new mothers and fathers and anyone else on the panel, feel free to chime in as
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well. >> your time is expired. the gentlewoman may answer the question. >> i will answer quickly and say no new mom should feel alone to recover from birth and face parenting and i credit the fact my husband was able to take 12 weeks of paid paternity leave with a generous benefit provided. so we were able to really have a good start for our family because of that and i can't imagine not having that if i were a lower wage worker. >> madame chairwoman, can i just chime in? >> yes, mr. kelly, you are recognized briefly. >> paid leave [inaudible] i am a father and i recall those precious weeks after there was a new addition to the family. the whole family needs the attention given provided but they have to pay rent and other
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-- those young do not have enough to secure even one paycheck. you take workers that average $35,000 a year for a new family with the house and all these bills and the stresses they will not be able to take off work and take care of the family is necessary. i just want to say that and a necessary addition to the family leave so i appreciate everyone that is promoting and sponsoring this. it is a necessary thing for underpaid federal employees. >> thank you. the time is expired. the gentleman from texas, you are now recognized. >> thank you. you can certainly stay here in
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texas anytime you like. so, it's interesting to hear from earlier rants and lectures but again i always like to look at the statistics and share with our colleagues and friends and i hope i'm getting all of this right. we have to trust some of the folks we called for this research. federal employees are entitled to a pension once they are vested. private sector according to the compensation survey done by the bureau of labor, 12% of private sector employees get a pension. paid sick leave and private sector average is seven days a year and federal employees average 13. vacation is a little harder to quantify as far as average but it looks like about 13 days with private sector and 20 days as a federal employee.
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paid holidays, private sector is eight and federal employees it is now at 11. so, some of the things, sick leave from what we are told, 13 days to be carried over to the next year and continue indefinitely. so after say ten years it is they could have banked 130 sick days and vacation they can only carry over 240 hours and they are getting once they are established and i'm talking about an employee seven years or plus gets 20 days but that would be bringing it over. so in a given year they have 180 days. now, i don't know and i suspect they could use sick leave for maternity leave and if they cannot, i can certainly support letting them use that to 12 weeks to cash in.
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we all can't live day-to-day and need to save money for a rainy day. that is what i was taught. my father retired after 25 or 30 years service with all of the 38,000 a year but we saved for those rainy days and then you have to look at the cost of this and it's hard to quantify because there is no estimate and nobody sought so there's no due diligence on this and it's dereliction of duty to vote on this to form an opinion when we don't even know the cost. as the caretakers i feel this is a cover for a socialistic policy. i own the business and have an
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employee that had cancer and i told her her job but i was in that position. her job was to get better and it wasn't forced or compelled upon us for the public and private sector particularly federal employees and then i heard for hours now the fact that apparently americans are helpless and there are certain decisions to make. i started out making $18,500. i didn't want to get married and i didn't want children. i was responsible enough to know and i have to trust of the american people. with that, madam chair from the great state of texas. >> thank you. the gentlewoman from missouri is
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recognized for five minutes. >> thank you madam chair for convening this hearing. sitting here listening to the words of my colleagues, it is absolutely blowing my mind how we can speak from a place of a habit and everything else should be great the same way that it's great for me that it isn't for everybody. we need to bring it back that we don't have equity in the country, we don't have equality in the country so maybe opening your eyes to see that there's somebody else suffering a different way than you. i feel like the thing is we have to look at more than just our little square box. thank you for your leadership on this and on those on the
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committee. the federal government now guarantees the parental leave for employees but it's not enough for the workers more broadly and i know this from personal experience. twice in my life i have been fired or threatened for running out of paid leave or something related to the paid leave. while i was too sick to work this could have happened to anyone. in one case i was the victim of sexual violence but i didn't ask for and because mental health isn't paid for, when you have a mental health situation going on, how do you keep your home? i almost lost everything. ..
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>> that the other person has. so why not invest in what you have or give them the face that they need to heal? it is ridiculous imagine a low-wage worker and a traumatic life event. imagine fired for being sick
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or return and not being able and then being fired for it they don't have to imagine it is a reality that happens every single day and you can see why of course federal workers are not provided pay from the medical leave act other than childcare what happens when they have to take time off from work to take care of a family member? mr. kelly great to see you again. how would you members benefit if they would benefit from paid leave to care for themselves or their families? >> we give you a story. about a young man. he worked as a tsa work. his wife is diabetic. two months ago he needed a kidney transplant.
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he had use a lot of leave to take care of her. two and half months because she was very ill after the transplant their son is that college a few weeks later the doctor discovered the body was rejecting the kidney so they had to go when and remove it now he was missing work again. so he couldn't pay the bills and then they try to save so hard to go to college the father had to ask him to come out of college and get a job to help with bills so they would not lose their home. i disagree with you not everybody has it like that. in pastoring for 31 years to sit here with the inhumanity
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that supposedly representing our country should be representing all humanity and there is no humanity in this. it bothers me that people are not concerned about the well-being of the american family that concerned with that they already have got. >> the gentleman's time is expired i want to commend mrs. bush for pointing out public policy is not made out of the goodness one person can be very thoughtful and wonderful to their employees but another situation where people are hurt unjustly and lose their jobs and forms of employment public policy has to be made to the american people and that is what we are discussing today we are having
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a debate and discussion i now recognize the gentle man from the great stayed georgia mr. clyde are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you madame chair and ranking member for holding today's hearing. george is a great state. thank you. our country faces the biden border crisis the biting crime crisis the biden energy crisis as we see gas prices go up and up. and the employment crisis. i am constantly hearing across my district it is clear to me families are hurting from inflation and worried about illicit drugs flooding communities because of the crisis at the southern border i'm constantly hearing from small business owners how labor shortages playing the ability to hire talented workers thankfully governor can't through his direct order
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ended the extra payments from the federal government to get hard-working georgians back to work. small and large businesses operate a whole lot differently than the federal government. the fact or congress decides how much we will spend even before putting a budget together. is that backwards? not to mention we are not required to balance our budget every year no wonder our government is in such poor physical condition. as business and i had to work to bring in revenue dependent on consumer demand on customer service, community engagement, marketing. you also must balance your budget as a small business owner and plan to make adjustments if times are good or tough. if times are good benefits become more generous than the basic benefits employers
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provide to retain quality employees but when times are tough sometimes you have to adjust to key people on the payroll because you don't want to let anybody go. you want to keep your employees on the contrary if the governor on - - government was to increase the revenue stream all has to do was increase taxes to flip the switch and more money flows in but who pays the price for flipping the switch? american people for not have the money now we borrow it so who pays the price? our children. ms. manning i have a question outlined the way the government operates differently from private employers and touched on differences of benefits and good times and bad times to the benefits for federal employees get adjusted down
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when times are tough? >> to my knowledge they do not. >> you are absolutely right. sound like the federal government's benefits are completely stable. but yet with all of these advantages we're sitting here today considering the chairwoman's proposal to further expand the already generous benefits for federal employees what does that say to the average american that federal employee counterparts get more benefits than private citizens who are struggling to recover from the pandemic? what does that say to the american people? >> i think we struggle as a country to maintain wide respect for any type of large institution whether the media or the government to academic institutions that would love to see greater public trust i don't feel it fosters public trust with the elite political class that has benefits for themselves or the federal workforce there is a sense of
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detachment. >> does the federal government need to make benefits more generous than they are right now to compete for labor? >> no. that's an economic question it's pretty clear there is no economic necessity. >> thank you. i appreciate that very much. it's one thing to provide a benefit during the extraordinary period like covid-19 but entirely to make this a benefit for all times good and bad. thank you for your response. i appreciate that. a 28 year military officer and 11 years on active duty. and the military gives 30 days of paid leave every year but that includes weekends. if i take a straight 30 days for weekends, eight weekend days that are included in paid leave i know signing up for active duty is much different
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than the civilian workforce at the end of the day the salaries are paid by the taxpayers it is egregious we're sitting here considering a proposal that only requires federal civil servants to work nine months of the year in affront to servicemen and women who sacrifice everything as well as the taxpayers on the hook to pay for additional benefits and with that from the great state of georgia i yield back. >> the gentleman from the great state of illinois is recognized. >> thank you very much madame chair. as i was listening to the biden crisis, i was reminded that president biden has done more for low and moderate income children and families then we have seen in this country.
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that is one way to deal with and address the crisis. but we're really talking about something else at the moment. i am in favor of paid family medical leave not only in favor of it i introduced it so i am definitely in favor of it. but i am just wondering because i have always been taught a satisfied workforce is far more productive than a workforce that is not satisfied. if you start talking about cost if we keep the workforce satisfied, they will be more productive according to all of
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the research and studies that i have heard anything about. of course illinois is a great state. but i represent a large number of people in chicago who are disproportionately among those of paid leave benefits because they are single-payer, grandparents, cars who need care giving flexibility. they are often lower paid individuals in the workforce. and don't get all of the benefits that others may get. my congressional district is one of the highest percentages of children being cared for by their grandparents. the burden of caregiving often
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falls heavily on african-american women with many grandmothers working caring for young children and aging family members and also dealing with their own medical issues. can you discuss why a broad definition of family is needed to make sure everyone who needs it can get the family caregiving leaves and get their needs met? >> thank you for the question. families across the country come in all shapes and sizes members of their family require care.
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the two policies leave extended family members behind grandparents and grandchildren and others who folks care for like family forcing federal workers with fmla leave said they couldn't because they cared for someone that was not covered by fmla one of the great of the state family medical leave program now has a broader definition and it's incredibly important particularly for families of color those that are lgbtq and women in particular whether paid or unpaid are they have to leave their jobs and provide care for those that they love. >> the number of days that federal employees have to work you know how many rules that require individuals to take
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all of the family medical leave that they may have available to them quick. >> there is no rule. and if i might add just a little bit, we should refocus on what this discussion is all about. because every employee cannot take four months of leave. that's not what this is about. that would be a lot to the american people because if you think about it what about the people that fall into the category it's not the true even though i heard earlier but it's not true if you remember back in 2013 and 2014
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they gave up retirement benefits and it was cut all of this was for extended employment and they were not political appointees they were federal employees so to bring these forward today really bothers me. >> thank you madame chairman and i yield back. >> the gentle man from the great state of vermont. >> thank you very much madame chair i will ask a few questions of eric sorkin very shortly but i want to say something about his business. he and his wife created a business that produces the tastiest product in the realm which is vermont maple syrup and has 75 employees.
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we are very proud of our small businesses. i know my colleagues have similar stories in the question through family leave is one where mr. keller we should we can leave it to the individual businesses they can and want to do whatever is possible for employees i think it is universal across the country but can all businesses do it? so mr. sorkin i went to see if you can say why it's important for small businesses there is a national paid family medical leave benefit. there is a national policy to
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level the playing field so business competitors could provide the same benefit to their employees. >> thank you representative. absolutely i completely agree from my perspective it shouldn't be we do it and that is a burden on us irrespective of the fact that there is a return on that investment. i don't see the downside of a national program to help workers or help us as well. when we are recruiting we talk about how hard it is to recruit right now at a significant disadvantage.
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>> as i understand it. and you could not lose the paycheck so if the circumstances were reversed. >> absolutely right. >> and then you have to eat the cost of that. >> that is right. >> you mentioned the effect of morale if you did institute this. by the way to my colleagues 75 employees may be a small business but that's a big deal in vermont but it's a lot of work your off in the woods getting that that we get on the breakfast table that tell us how it affects morale in
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your company. >> a few weeks ago there was a statistic vermont had that titus labor market in the country posting for every person on unemployment we recently posted a position for production and associates and several were hired and we received 150 applications in a few weeks. we are pretty well known for our policies. >> what impact did the coronavirus response act have on your company with your business have survived without federally funded paid leave policy? >> .
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>> you have been successful small business to make enterprise like your successful remember that competitive disadvantage i think that's very compelling thank you madame chair i yield back. >> from the great state of georgia the gentleman is recognized. >> madame chair. not providing any information with the cost would you anticipate that this piece of legislation would be a good idea for the american taxpayer. >> and fortunately we don't know that cost but simply the term paid leave implies someone is paying for it. so somebody has to pay.
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>> you have any idea of just an estimate of what this might cost? >> no. especially given federal workers are ready have paid parental leave so now this is the additional marginal cost of other medical paid the following out of the parental leave category. i don't know but it would come with some cost. >> i would think it would be significant but it seems the log just call progression to pass the legislation to have a significant price tag and then on behalf of the taxpayer. >> and that is true regardless if we feel that pay leave is what we should be entitled to so how do we manage limited resources or what we want
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people to have for pay leave her federal workers and those programs for all workers. >> beyond the cost factor is no question of assessing of your workforce. what is the impact something like this would have on the workforce? i shared in my opening statement 12 weeks plus holidays and benefits. we mean eight months out of a year potentially so we have four months of the gap how does the private sector, how can anyone deal with employees that are gone one third of the time? >> there is a variety of downside but the national paid leave program and not just the
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cost of taxes there is that examination as well but with the paid leave entitlement applying to the nation first of all we recognize that many employers have already enacted to put in place medical leave when you establish you immediately rebrand that they have worked out to create the incentive for the employers to comply with the federal standard rather than go directly to their workforce what type of flexible arrangement works for you with that virtual and so forth there are different solutions that work for industries and seasons of life and so at a
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time of the american economy and businesses to encourage those diverse choices. >> add on minimum any private company dealing with this type of policy to have an assessment to determine the impact do you know of any such assessment taking place to determine the impact on the workforce? >> i do not. >> i know you have touched on this coming out of covid so many businesses have been kicked in the gut. many of them have lost everything they have had.
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even a bill like this can become law and then to suffer tremendously in one of the biggest economic problems and then the lack of income. period. and the requirement or the suggestion that comes at the full slate of benefits whether health insurance or increased minimum wage that's what they want to provide for themselves and their families. >> i yield back. thank you. >> the chair recognizes for
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five minutes. >> you said the data you gave birth to your child can you explain briefly why you had to work up until the very last moment you gave birth? >> sure. and after. that day because every moment was critical to get the most time that was paid for me after my fmla started and it was unpaid. so if he would be in the nicu for ten days if i could do work there than that went by me ten extra days to bond with my baby. >> that resonates with me. and then with my third child. and ed deal on - - the deal
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prevailed from all the time that i could. i know you said you return to work sooner about what motivated that? the stress of your families? concerned about your career? how did that affect your decision about giving birth and having a child? >> i did take 12 weeks off to but i took time off when i was in the hospital and for all of those appointments there was a government shutdown in between so there was a stressful time and just to juggle those finances to have any babies and a new house. it was a very difficult decision to be there for my
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family because i knew that would be more important than a job. >> you also wrote about your mother's fear to take time off and her job to care for you and what that meant for your family? >> yes. they grow up and you have the reaction that makes me dedicated to the work to know that i needed to fight for those policies and workplaces that does not carry fear and for my mom and when she was trying to take care of me she was worried i would be sick or she could be sick and that created a lot of stress in the household. i know the impacts everyone's health and those are things i didn't want to pass on for my
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family. >> the need for paid leave is not new although the pandemic has reignited interest but now we have multiple generations of working women and families that have been harmed by paid leave that disproportionately hurt people those food services and retail for even a few days of unpaid time off could jeopardize their jobs to put food on the table. how much do american families lose each year in income as a result of unpaid leave policy quick. >> estimating 22.five lost.
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spent that's a lot of groceries and diapers and utility bills that people are going without. how many workers are we talking about here to contribute? >> around 20 million workers per year take fmla and only a small share are paid adequately or at all. >> and with that colleagues and the committee hearing talking about a progressive priority or women's issue or kids issue. who is hurt as a lack of paid leave quick. >> everybody whether you directly or the economy or a business it is a necessity to get the economy back on track and then to be stable and secure going forward. >> our men hurt by pay leave
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quick. >> absolutely including a big national survey. those that want to be there for their families not only having access to pay back the stigma when men want to break out they have a hard time. >> what about democrats the democratic workers want to take paid leave quick. >> we want them to know it's there for them when they need it that's why before the pandemic and during the pandemic 85 percent of workers want national paid leave 75 percent of republicans 85 percent of democrats the only place this is a partisan issue is congress and signed legislatures but not all so with that bipartisan support there is no need for a
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bipartisan decision it's common sense. >> so workers who vote or don't vote it affects the workforce partly so i just want to echo what you just said that paid leave is not something that we do just for women or kids or whatever paid leave is something we do for everyone when you are 50 years past or just injuring them pay these makes the economy stronger there is no american should want our country to have a strong globally competitive economy and we cannot do that without paid leave. >> now the gentle man from
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tennessee for five minutes. >> . >> thank you to the chairwoman for holding this hearing. the issue of paid family medical leave is so important and i think the witnesses today for their efficacy efforts with the covid 19 pandemic affect. with the 34 million infected and with life altering health consequences and the experiences of constituents and then to implement a comprehensive paid medical leave policy.
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it is the shameful tribute it has taken us this long. the moment is here and we must not let the moment pass. even my home state of georgia which is ground zero for voter suppression we recently established parental leave for state employees. we still have plenty of work to do this advancement is a tireless work by advocates from across the state and nation. i want to applied you for your efforts i keep hearing from my friends on the other side of the aisle of the cost to the taxpayers and that we cannot afford to do family medical leave i would remind my friends it is the working people who pay the taxes not
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the wealthy and the corporations because of the loopholes and the tax code and that the republican party tax cut of 2017 and five. $8 trillion in taxes for the top 1 percent 83 percent of $8 trillion of tax cuts went to the top 1 percent while at the same time raising taxes on working people in the federal deficit but the same wealthy people in corporate interest most the chamber of commerce and others have the biggest influence on policy to spend dark many with pro-business
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politicians into office to do their bidding rather than serve the people. protections for workers to pay the taxes should be able to allocate their taxes to support themselves during their times of need rather than subsidizing the wealthy who don't pay taxes. the national partnership for women and families conducted a nationwide survey on paid leave what did it reveal about american workers support or lack of for paid family medical leave quick. >> thank you for the question. we always find that it has
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bipartisan support and has a majority of support from republicans and democrats and independents. >> 94 percent democrats and 73 percent of republicans supported paid leave. correct. >> that sounds right. these numbers are staggering that states across the nation have not been responsive to public support of comprehensive paid leave promises and with the failure of states to pass laws that they receive paid leave. >> i will say there has been a lot of momentum in the past two years but it's time for a national policy and the national standard so while the
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campaign in different states what we see in these areas is a bipartisan issue but we are working to get national. >> what is stopping us from getting a national paid leave policy past quick. >> there is a lot of misconception of what this means. it sounds like the cost issue. >> so those who are not paying the cost want to dictate to those who are paying the cost how to allocate that many. >> your time is expired. >> it is quite ridiculous and i will yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle man from kentucky.
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>> i don't know where to begin. i've been patiently listening and from my day democratic colleagues sitting through the technical difficulties and then to keep the federal workforce satisfied and with reality of the taxpayers. the workforce needs to keep the taxpayers satisfied with the way the tax dollars are being spent right now if the
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veteran calls any of our offices and asks for their v.a. records, it could take one year for them to get their records on the v.a. no. it's too dangerous to be out there. >> people in the private sector have to go back to work with overwhelming bipartisan support. and with those perks for federal employees. the biggest problem in america right now is workers cannot find employees. and anywhere near the potential because the policy
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to pay people to work or not work is to sit at home and with all the problems in america right now pleading with the majority we have a border crisis endocrine crisis in the big cities. and inflation. credible evidence that shows if you have any hearings on that but we are not blaming you for covid we blame china for covid. >> and then continue to pay people it is a total disconnect. and it highlights the
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differences between what republicans in the house are pushing for and fighting for and what democrats in the house are fighting for. what should the process be to consider paid leave vacation before we have the cost and trade-off and consequences? >> every employer has to do their own cost-benefit analysis. but others have to make a different calculus. and that attractiveness what makes the most sense for them. >> and then to go through the appropriate process to determine the effects on production and the
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consequences. what is your biggest concern with this bill quick. >> . >> with the bill and the hearing in the way this is being presented with the concept of paid leave especially without the full examination that is associated with that proposal so for example the family act to establish a national comprehensive paid leave entitlement comes at the downside and i appreciate lawmakers concerned but it would establish the payroll tax that would cost low income workers and families and those who are least likely to benefit and several countries
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abroad it is a regressive policy that redistributes wealth to upper and middle income families. >> i think all the witnesses for being here inflation is a regressive tax in the policy of this administration is creating inflation which is a tax on low income and poor families. i yield back. >> can i speak. >> i'm sorry i will move on to mr. sardines hopefully you can have a chance to speak again later you are recognized for five minutes. >> i will be asking mr. kelly a question so he can offer his
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thought. i am getting the high police that have authority been covered. so again in 2020 congress passed bipartisan families first coronavirus response act the cra had to the major provisions the first provided 12 weeks the family medical leave for coronavirus reasons including childcare and daycare centers with the pandemic the second provision provided two weeks of paid sick leave for reasons related to the pandemic and also included tax credits to help them cover cost for the paid leave and then march 2021 when we had the american and rescue plan it is tax credit businesses provided additional paid family medical leave for
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federal employees for coronavirus related reasons. many federal employees have been on the front line of the government's response to the pandemic including many essential workers continuing to work on site throughout the pandemic how to lead policies federal employees take care of themselves and their families while at the same time serving their nation quick. >> that's a good question. it has helped tremendously because you don't have to worry about the stress and the possibility to be contracted for the american people so it's very important that this bill was passed but i want to just say that this is about
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emergency situations and then to reiterate the fact the v.a. never stopped working. the v.a. never stopped working. some were working from home. as a matter-of-fact production was at. paid these made it possible to keep things going nasa point i wanted to make earlier. >> i appreciate you mentioning teleworkers because i'm proud of the telework improvement act as congress signed into law a few years back which upgraded the telework policies in a way to contribute to productivity in a measurable
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way. so the policies we put in place we are discussing today to help federal workers in the pandemic are critical in terms of keeping the employee morale high the reason were not taking a huge hit and that is one of the reasons it is so important. went to get your views on the effect of the leaves provisions of the american rescue plan have on the private sector to help workers and businesses whether the pandemic? >> for the first time ever sick leave then paid childcare leave required of certain businesses and available to certain employees 15 covid cases per day at the height of the pandemic.
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in december the requirement went away. and that's why we cannot ever go back to a situation where workers don't have access to paid leave and the have to support that and that's why policy like the american families plan is so critical because it puts in place the stability that businesses and workers need going forward with public health emergencies and individuals and perpetuity in the private sector to provide support for paid leave and businesses benefited from it. >> i yield back.
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>> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from california. >> let me start off by commenting on what my good colleagues said he has never had a baby. maybe he thinks it is a vacation but those of us have been moms it is no vacation it is stressful and challenging and his comment is truly insulting to every mother in this country. second, i think we have lost
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it is now like 8 percent so we are the only industrialized country in the world that has a caveman attitude about parental leave. and we have to grow up and realize it takes a two income family to make it in this country today and we have to make it easier on both parents so i will just speak about one bill in particular and ask for commentary. believe it or not our servicemembers do not have the same parental leave benefits that federal employees have. so my republican colleagues are they willing to support a bipartisan bill to equalize that for the men and women in
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our country whose lives are on the line but parental leave is less than federal employees? why do you think these kinds of benefits are important for all? >> research shows for parental leave for maternal health father's engagement and so to have that diverse military so servicemembers can take care of their children in equal levels and then to be competitive and help ensure as young people who enter the military whether to stay in makes them more willing to stay those who left the
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military because of that an equitable paid leave. so this is an issue for military readiness and to do stagnant - - destigmatize including those in the military and for all of those reasons to create equity between the genders for parental leave is critically important. >> as an army veteran and employee, i thank you are also aware of the challenges for the reserve and national guard. they have no comprehensive paid leave policies. can you comment on the burdens associated with that? >> the burden and the stressors are the same as
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anyone else. how is that a burden on any family member that doesn't have paid leave? to not spend time with your family or newborn baby, it is stress all around so the impact you have is a benefit that everyone should be able to share. >> i will close by saying at one point in my congressional office, two staff members are out on parental leave might chief of staff and another staff or three months. this guy did not fall. we could conduct business and do the job it was a great benefit to them and they were very grateful for it so if we
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are truly a country that supports family values it is time to show and with that i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> thank you madame chair my colleagues on the other side of the aisle a federal employee benefits are already generous with their leaves benefit i like to remind my colleagues of the government shutdown from december 22nd 2018 through january of 2019 and during that time 800,000 federal employees were furloughed are working without pay 60 percent exhausted their savings was 63 percent who couldn't cover a 500-dollar
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emergency. federal workers injured the same hardship mr. kelly can you tell us what they have endured with the shutdown over the course of their careers? >> that's a great question. and referencing tsa quite a bit this workforce averages $35000. but then to go back-and-forth to work in the metropolitan area like new york city or washington dc. they have to take care of childcare and all these types of things and not getting a paycheck. some of them lost their homes. some cannot get back and forth
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to the doctor. so there were all kinds of those who were being evicted. they couldn't, and those that lost automobiles. and those that lost their homes and with the american workforce. >> thank you for that the federal workforce in this jurisdiction i support family medical leave for all workers. can you explain why paid
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family medical leave is not son up. but a requirement for the health and prosperity of american workers and businesses quick. >> cap on - - absolutely representative kelly. paid leave is essential for all of us because every single working person take time to care for a loved one that now one out of five workers have access to paid family leave on average $1000 per year and aggregate 20.$5 billion per year businesses are incurring cost with the cost of turnover in the economy is losing out $500 billion per year for the pandemic. with two.$4 trillion with paid
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family medical leave. >> i yield back. . . . . and a l paid leave policy is about the health of our people about the stabilization of our family. when you often characterize your
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promotion of family values. and furthermore that you value people's labor in the traditional sense more than you do their very lives and someone who has the honor of being a caregiver to my mother in the final weeks of her life as she battles leukemia although i was away from work, i was certainly not off. it requires great emotional and physical labor and there is no place else in the world i would have rather been to support my mother and her transition. your comments not only dishonor parents, people who've grown their family through adoption, but the millions of caregivers who in this moment feel alone and unseen, you've contributed
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to that. but let me get to my question. there has been a long and inaccurate assumption that people with disabilities are only the recipients of care and not the providers of care when the reality is people with disabilities play both roles and often face barriers to benefits and services as a result. can you elaborate on the importance of separating people with disabilities and any effort to advance paid family medical leave? >> yes, thank you, congresswoman for the question. it's a really important point to me. they are a valuable part of the communities and workforce. disability in the paid leave program can support people with disabilities to more fully participate in the economy and economic independence. a recent analysis and fmla data found 16% of workers who took any leave in the past 12 months
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may have done so for a disability. nearly one third of the workers also had at least one child under 18. it's important to remember the workers with disability also have lower income meaning they are less likely to have savings to rely on. so centering them in the paid family medical leave policy will help bring a financial lifeline to them which is part of their economic stability. >> thank you. in that transition, i wanted to ask the chair if i could enter a report into the record. the report is titled paid leave is essential for healthy moms and babies. it's by the national partnership national partnershipand collaboe national equity collaborative. >> without objection. >> so we've spoken about a part of this that is often overlooked. i want to talk about pregnancy loss, which is also often
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overlooked. three out of four people who take paid leave do so for reasons outside of maternity or parental care. why is it important to establish a national paid leave program that supports a diverse array of tierney? >> like you said, the majority of people need time off to care for a family members serious issue or their own. this is things like cancer treatment, helping a parent recover from a fall or a child in the hospital. it improves health outcomes for those who need care and prevents people from having to make impossible choices between being there for their families and their own health and jobs and income. it's also important for gender equity because women are more likely to take parental leave. a policy that only covers new parents to reinforce. so finally, as a population in the workforce that are both
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aging, a comprehensive paid leave policy is just smart economics to ensure workers continue to work and manage caring for a parent or loved one. >> thank you. what are some of the policies i want to talk about those that are receiving ssi. what are some of the policies the committee should be considering when it comes to ensuring that a paid medical leave program is inclusive for individuals who work and receive supplemental security income? >> you may respond to the gentle ladies question. >> any new programs that we put in place are not taking away rights to other programs so somebody on ssi or that has a partial disability that is working part-time and then needs to take a leave must have that
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portion of the wages replaced and not be barred from accessing either of those benefits because of the receipt of the other. the point is low income people and people living paycheck to paycheck, just barely, up to the level they can pay their bills and make ends meet and have security for themselves. this is about stabilization, financial independence and well-being. a. >> at the time is expired. the gentlewoman from the state of michigan. you are now recognized. >> thank you so much. i want to thank the panel for being here. i am so happy we are having this discussion. i just want for the record to reflect that i spent 30 years working for a federal agency and nothing has changed now that i'm in congress i am a mother, daughter, i have family just like as a member of congress as any of us have a family emergency or we have a crisis,
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we are paid leave to be able to care for our families. federal workers shouldn't be exempt from that, and some of the privileged conversations i'm hearing this is really heartbreaking. i am the cochair of the women's caucus. one of the issues i want to emphasize, while we talked about the impact of women and pregnancy and being the number one caregiver in almost every family, this is a family issue. i had a town hall where a man says congresswoman, i will have no vacation. i've used all my vacation time to care for my children during this pandemic. and so, i want the sensitivity of this body to think about human beings who are our federal
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workers who show up every day to do the work, who worked as front liners during this pandemic. what access to paid leave help women maintain the workforce participation? now, we are struggling with this disappearance of women in the workforce. can you please talk to that? >> absolutely. the relief, the invisible caregiving that is happening, women bear a disproportionate share of that but one of the reasons we need this is to recognize the caregiving as it is happening today and encourage more equitable positions going forward. something that struck me recently is a survey finding by the harper policy center that found 38% of currently unemployed workers, i think as of april, said they would be more likely to return to work sooner if the employer provided paid family leave and that was
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particularly true of unemployed parents, nearly half said it would help return to work sooner. so this idea that providing people to stay out of work is backward. people need access to know they can show up and do their best work and that they are going to be able to take the time they need and then come back if they need to take time for a caregiving need, and that is particularly true in this survey of black workers who cited caregiving as a reason they had to leave the workforce as opposed to white workers. >> i appreciate that. the other issue that we as members of congress should understand the fact that the emergency leave if my child is sick, a lot of caregiving facilities will say if your child has a sniffle or cold, don't bring them in, you keep them home and take care of that child. i know for a fact there are women who if they have the ability to take leave would
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maintain their employment, but because they don't and because of childcare -- and this is on another platform that we must survive as a country the sensitivity to the need for child care in america. the last question is to ms. kelly. the temporary pay leave measures for federal employees help members. but do you believe federal employees that have not guaranteed paid parental leave have been able to take advantage of this temporary emergency paid leave? to demonstrate that we need to make this permanent? >> did you say ms. kelly or mr. kelly? >> mr. kelly. i'm sorry. >> okay. so, i'm starting to think that we need to make this permanent because we have heard more than -- i don't know how many stories
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i've heard of how much it's been a benefit to help temporary paid leave. so until that, if we were to make it permanent, the morale is definitely going to be boosted because employees are happy for the measures the lawmakers took and consider their well-being and their families and also to put something permanently in place for them would send the right message. >> thank you, mr. kelly. and forgive me for using the wrong title. >> that's okay. >> i just want to say to everyone federal employees are the backbones of this country. when i hear discussions about them getting too much, you don't say that when they give everything to keep this country going. a democracy, government, the services that we provide that makes us america.
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thank you, and i yelled back. >> the gentlewoman from the great state of california is now recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for having this hearing and for the leadership on the subject, and thank you for the manner that this hearing is being held. i want to talk about the impact on the regional economies and small businesses. as a former small business owner, mr. sorkin and ms. shabo, if you could comment on the challenge that 70% of small business owners want to provide these kind of benefits, but only 15% are so i come from an area in san francisco bay -- they really were at the forefront of this, so we've had enough time to start to see that some of the
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benefits ocher to the small businesses. someone like myself who is a retailer, there's more disposable income. this conundrum of dealing with with a small business wants to do, according to surveys, but the challenges they have, vis-à-vis cash flow, maybe you can comment on that and your own personal experience, and ms. shabo, if you could follow up with any thoughts you have. >> thank you, congressman. i don't know any employees or any workers who don't want paid family and medical leave. it clearly comes down to the ability of small businesses to afford it, particularly in the smallest businesses and startups. cash flow can be a real headwind to getting that done. so, having federal support for that is just a game changer. it is a simple fact to me. in my mind it is a no-brainer.
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i know a ton of businesses here that would really appreciate the federal support. >> ms. shabo, any thoughts or observations? >> absolutely. i think what is exciting is that we now have seven jurisdictions that have these programs in place. and in the four that have been functioning along us, there are studies in each of those that show businesses and particularly small businesses have benefited. they've benefited in terms of productivity. they haven't seen any negative impact. more than majority support the programs in place. it's an approved attention and there was a study, the ability to navigate long leave. i really commend mr. sorkin for showing what his employees need on a one-to-one basis. the reality is many of his companies don't do that and can't do that even if they want to do that, and that's the
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reason we need a national program. from the talking points of my opponent, this isn't about increasing cost, it's not about the flexibility but in ensuring every worker can have access to take the time they need to care for themselves or a loved one and have employees be likely to -- we don't see the negative impact that the doubters say. we just don't. each state has a way to deal with it. >> your organization has done some research on tracking and retaining workforce. again, my experience in the restaurant business and high-cost areas. being able to retain employees, i want to be able to pay them enough and also provide them with these kind of benefits. so, your research indicates providing for this helps small businesses. i wonder if you could comment on that. >> yes. i think that that is true
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because just like we've heard from mr. sorkin, it is very hard to do this on your own. and what we have learned from these state programs is that this is a really great equalizer for small businesses to compete with the larger companies like in your district that offer a lot of the tech companies, and this is really a reason why we are fighting for paid leave for all. not because all businesses should be able to provide this and all people should be able to have it no matter where you are. >> madam chair, i want to thank all the witnesses and i want to thank you again. there is a challenge here, and it is a short-term versus medium-term. our experience here in north california, there were pressures particularly on small businesses that had a small rate of return, like the businesses i was in. so to hunker down and say i just want to make my next payroll. but in the near term, i think within a year or two you could
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see the benefits. lastly, madam chair, just personally i am reminded today of wisdom from my mother who used to tell myself and my three brothers we can then attack strong women. so thank you for your leadership. >> the gentleman from california, the great state of california. vice chair gomez is recognized. >> representative gomez. >> mr. gomez, you are now recognized. >> thank you so much, chair maloney for having another hearing. this is something that is extremely important. i don't know why i'm on two screens at once. but first, let me just say i
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know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are starting to ask why this is even necessary, this paid family leave. and they have made so much progress during the last administration when they stopped arguing about if it is needed, and they started arguing about how to get it done. and i felt like they've backtracked a little bit. so let's bring them back to the forefront of the fact that universal paid leave is just critical to protecting all americans. i think the fact is no longer up for debate. i think it's particularly true. we've seen it time and time again, and we saw the pandemic show that it's absolutely needed. i'm proud that in california i laid one of the largest expansions of paid federal leave when i was a state assembly member. made the wage replacement more progressive and the fact that low income individuals would get a higher wage replacement so that they could actually afford
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to take time off. and we expanded not just to parental leave but also how you take care of a sick family member, how can you actually go and make sure they have the time off to be there during their last days. and i think if we care about a family, we have to care about the ability of these individuals to be there in the toughest of circumstances and not worry if they are going to have a job when they return or not. so i want to just get to some questions. ms. shabo, can you describe how a comprehensive national paid leave policy can advance racial and gender equity slacks the reason i'm asking that is the fact that we know a lot of working class folks tend to be minority, tend to be working in a lot of industries that are
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just part time and it's not that they don't work. they often work four or five jobs to make ends meet but then they don't have the kind of leave that is necessary to be able to take time off, like my parents when i got sick with pneumonia when i was seven. my parents had to miss shifts at work, and they were working all the time. it's something that still sits with me to this day. so, ms. shabo, there is a question for you. >> thank you for bringing this up. you tell your story so eloquently and it sticks with me because it is the experience of so many other families and kids who spend more time in the hospital because they don't have a parent is there to care for them, to be able to talk to doctors and make sure that the care their child needs is going to be able -- we learned a lot from the state paid leave program. we've learned that wage replacement that's higher for the low-wage workers is
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critically important to ensure lower wage workers are able to take the benefit that is provided. we know that employment protections are critically important so the 40% of workers that are not covered by the family medical leave act are able to take the benefits that they have without a fear of losing their jobs. we know that the ability of people to care for more just parents, spouses and children is critically important, and that's why chair maloney had the expansion she's been working on for a number of years is so critical and why the inclusive family definition and building of the economy family proposal is so important. as all states have recognized. importantly, i want to come back to something ms. manning said earlier about the ways in which lower wage workers may not be paid paid leave. we have a tremendous opportunity when congress does implement a federal program to correct some of the challenges to ensure that all workers, whether they are
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low-wage workers or middle wage workers can take the paid leave that they need and then come back to work and back to business. those we talked to all across the country, 70% of whom want access to paid leave according to national surveys of small businesses. >> great. it's true some folks are saying that we don't learn from these programs that are limited. we've learned a lot. wage replacement, job protection. and then just knowing about the program. and if we can do that, we can help people across the board. and the federal government, because we have the ability to play an active role in structuring a program that could be a model that chairwoman maloney had led. and i think that will help people think about it in a different way. so, i think that we are moving in the right direction. we've got to keep going and i'm
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glad that chairwoman has been leading this fight. with that i will yield back. >> the gentleman yields back and that concludes. i want to thank all of my colleagues who've done a wonderful job today answering the questions and sharing your expertise with us. but before i close, i want to offer the ranking member an opportunity to offer any remarks that he may have. you are now recognized. >> thank you madam chair and again thank the witnesses for being here today. again, madam chair, this is the house committee on oversight and government reform, and we certainly have no shortage of oversight opportunities. i'm going to conclude by once again requesting that this committee meet in person and
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hold hearings on the border crisis and or the origination of covid-19, and/or committee hearing on the problems with the excessive fraud in the unemployment system, specifically california. so i think those would be three really good at committee hearings. we know that we can work in a bipartisan way out of the house oversight committee. but again, we just feel like when we are talking about workers right now, there is a shortage of workers in america, and the employers are pleading with the government to get out of the way and stop paying people not to work. and i just, to have this hearing at a time when our economy can't
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rebound because there is a labor shortage and 8 million jobs posted in america right now. we just feel like there were better opportunities for the hearings moving forward. i will yield back the balance of my time and hope that we can have some good committee hearings for the taxpayers of america to see the committee work on. thank you. >> thank you. i now recognize myself. if we have learned one thing today, it is that paid leave is not, as my republican colleagues claimed, a perk. workers need paid leave to recover from serious illnesses, to take care of sick children and to deal with the sudden military deployment of a family member. having a seriously ill child is not a perk. taking time to deal with an
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active duty deployment is not a perk. as the nation seeks to recover from a pandemic, permanent comprehensive paid leave is essential to support workers and the families who depend on them. not surprisingly, the vast majority of americans including mostly republicans support paid leave. but it's not only the workers and their families who gained the paid leave, and employers including the federal government and private sector also benefit from a healthier workforce. that is why paid leave is supported by a growing number of small businesses. ensuring paid leave through hr 56 would help lead the way for comprehensive medical leave for all american workers. i look forward to continuing to move this bill forward in the
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committee. before i close i would like to submit the following statements and letters for the record. a statement in support for hr 564 from president of the national treasury employing unit and a statement of support from the president of the federally employed women, a statement of support from the head of patagonia inc. in a statement of support from the national air traffic controllers association, and a letter for hr 5604 from the government managers collision. in closing, i want to thank the panelists for the remarks and command my colleagues for participating in this important conversation. with that, and without objection, all members have five legislative days to submit extraneous materials and to submit additional written questions for the witnesses to the chair which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their response.
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