WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate Finance Paid Leave Working Group, held a roundtable discussion today on the importance of paid leave amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
To watch the full roundtable discussion, click here.
“Too many Americans face the tough choice of caring for their new child or returning to work for essential income. Covid-19 has compounded this problem. Today’s roundtable serves as a positive step forward in the debate over how working families can access paid leave. Congress must act on this important issue for the good of American families,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“Regardless of personal circumstances, a worker should not have to choose between a paycheck and their own health,” Senator Hassan said. “This has always been true, but as we work to meet the needs of our current unprecedented circumstances, the urgency to act is greater than ever … And while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a unique far-reaching impact, long before this crisis began families across our country had been forced to make gut-wrenching decisions about their own health and their family’s well-being because they did not have access to necessary paid leave. If we fail to act at this critical juncture, this unacceptable state of affairs will continue long after this crisis recedes.”
Senators Cassidy and Hassan were joined by Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and the Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), as well as Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Todd Young (R-IN), and Bob Casey (D-PA).
The outside experts for the roundtable included Adrienne Schweer, a paid leave fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Carrie Lukas, President of the Independent Women’s Forum, and Erika Moritsugu, Vice President for Economic Justice for the National Partnership for Women & Families.
In May of 2019, Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Wyden asked Senator Cassidy and Senator Hassan to co-chair the bipartisan Senate Finance Committee working group to consider the issue of federal paid family leave policy. To read the Working Group’s interim update, click here.
Anyone wishing to provide further comment on this topic can submit it to the paid leave working group by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.