Hoping to salvage President Joe Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” agenda, congressional Democrats have dropped paid family and medical leave from their sweeping spending bill.
While the deal is overall seen as failing to address Americans’ pressing economic concerns, paid leave was one of the most popular provisions, polls show.
Biden presented a pared-down version of his social safety net and environmental package to House Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
The compromise plan, intended to win needed support from moderate Democratic holdouts, omitted paid leave along with policies to lower prescription drug pricing.
- What’s left?: Universal free preschool for 3-and-4-year olds, subsidized child care, $555 billion to address climate change, expanded health care programs and a one year extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, among other measures.
“I’m pleased to announce that after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations, I think we have an historic — I know we have a historic economic framework,” Biden announced Thursday in unveiling what turned out to be a $1.85 trillion framework. “Nobody got everything they wanted, including me.”
- The House once again delayed a scheduled vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, however, as progressives threatened to block it without further assurances that the larger bill will also pass.
The news that paid leave was getting cut from the Democratic package drew bipartisan backlash on Twitter, with some saying it was the “only good thing” in the program.
this is the greatest bill of all time. pretty much none of the shit they used to tout it originally is left. it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd with just one brother in law of a former member. the only thing in this bill now is tax rebates for Colgate to do a program called FlossLatino https://t.co/ZH98VjEqL8
— FlossLatino Care Specialist (@ByYourLogic) October 27, 2021
Other users accused Democrats of prioritizing special interests over policies beneficial to working Americans.
- “Yeah, take that out instead of the Billions in waste. They care about waste more than us. When the dems say they care about you/us, they do not, they care about elites, themselves and growing govt. That is ALL they care about and I don’t know what more proof you need!” tweeted one conservative.
Polling has consistently shown paid leave is wildly popular with Americans across the political spectrum.
According to an August Morning Consult/Politico poll, paid family and medical leave was the second most popular “Build Back Better” provision, winning backing from 73% of registered voters.
- Expanded home care for older and disabled Americans came in first, with 81% support.