House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday informed Democratic lawmakers that a paid leave clause will be added back to President Biden’s law on social spending, a decision that could anger moderate restraints, including Senator Joe Manchin, W-Va.
The proposal, which is to be included in the legislation, outlines four weeks of paid holiday. Paid leave was scrapped from earlier versions of the bill amid opposition from Manchin and others who raised concerns about the cost of expanded social programs.
“While reviewing priorities and at the request of many members of the Caucus, I have asked the Ways and Means Committee to include its legislation on paid family and sick leave in this morning’s hearing,” Pelosi said in a letter. “Chairman Richie Neal and committee staff have been working on this priority for a long time and we are ready.”
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Manchin has been critical of the proposal for paid leave in recent weeks, arguing that the reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill by a simple majority, should not be used to implement this program. Other Democrats, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, pressured Manchin to reconsider his opposition to the proposal.
The West Virginia Democrat has also argued that a significant expansion of social programs would be tax irresponsible due to the expected lack of funding for Social Security and Medicare in the coming years. He has called for any paid leave program to include a work requirement.
Pelosi alluded to opposition from an unnamed senator in his letter.
“Because I have been informed by a senator about opposition to a few of the priorities in our bill, and because we need legislation approved by Parliament and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act, which we will send to the President’s desk, we strive to find common ground in the legislation, “she wrote.
Manchin indicated to reporters on Wednesday that he was unaware that Democratic leaders intended to add the paid vacation plan back to the expense bill.
“It’s a challenge, a lot of a challenge, and they know how I feel about it,” Manchin said.
The House Rules Committee is expected to meet later Wednesday to mark the amended version of the bill on social spending, called the “Build Back Better Act.” Legislators are expected to vote on both the expense bill and the separate infrastructure package for two parties as soon as Thursday.
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It is unclear how the inclusion of paid leave will affect the final price of the expense account. A framework agreement last week outlined about $ 1.75 trillion in spending over a 10-year period.