Democrats are on the verge of losing a lot of female voters because they excluded paid family leave from the finalized text of the social spending legislation. Meanwhile, a group of senators is still working at cross purposes with Biden to include paid family leave in the reconciliation bill.
Biden breaking his campaign promises in big numbers
During his presidential campaign, Biden lured female voters by offering 12 weeks of paid medical and family leave. This period was reduced to four weeks and then ultimately wiped off, due to the resistance from moderate Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.
Christy Setzer, a Democrat strategist, called it an “unforced error,” saying it will impact the female workforce, especially during times when women face reluctance to announce pregnancies at their work.
While labeling it a “missed opportunity,” Stetzer said this could result in Democrats losing their vote bank in the upcoming elections. The President of the National Partnership for Women and Families, Debra Ness, said excluding this provision from the social spending legislation is a risk for Democrats.
Ness also added that women sought politicians who were supporting paid family leave in the last election; therefore, this decision of the Democrat Party can hurt them in the upcoming elections.
My latest: Joe Manchin just handed Trump a potent issue for 2024: "Not only is paid family leave extraordinarily popular … it leaves an opening for Republicans and for Donald Trump, should he run in 2024, to outflank the Democrats from the left. https://t.co/jU7rZLOFFR
— Helaine Olen (@helaineolen) October 29, 2021
Lake Research Firm, a Democrat polling firm, surveyed the popularity of paid family leave, which shows almost 87 percent of Democrats favor this, while 43 percent of Republicans endorse this idea.
These numbers suggest Democrat voters will not leave Biden unharmed for eliminating the provision upon which he built his election campaign.
Democrats trying to include paid family leave in the social spending bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also one of the vocal advocates of paid family leave and dismayed over Biden’s decision to remove it from the upcoming spending spree altogether.
Despite aligning herself with the progressive caucus, Pelosi has surrendered in front of moderate Democrats to protect Biden’s economic agenda from utter humiliation. Scolding the anti-leave Democrats, Pelosi said she was still fighting for this leave.
Giovanna Lockhart, a paid family leave advocate and adviser to one such organization, said Democrats have to include the removed provision into the bill by any means. Likewise, Lockhart added pro-leave organizations would continue to fight until the paid leave framework is included in the social spending bill.
Biden says the Democrats have reached a framework for his social spending plan. It leaves out the country’s first paid family leave program, a central part of Biden’s campaign.https://t.co/e5zEIRq1RF
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 28, 2021
Despite the fact Biden claims to finalize the framework, some Democrat senators (including Ron Wyden, Patty Murray, Kristen, Gillibrand, and Mazie Hirono) are still burning the midnight oil to include the issue in the final text of the social spending reconciliation.
Patty Murray called this exclusion a “downright shame” for America, saying the U.S. is the only developed country that does not offer paid family leave.
This is not the first time Democrats are working on cross purposes over Biden’s stalled economic agenda. Time and time again, this infighting in Biden’s ranks has stopped Congress from passing infrastructure and reconciliation bills.