Democrats will reportedly drop paid family and medical leave from the Build Back Better Act.
According to reporting, Sen. Joe Manchin wouldn’t agree to the initiative because he doesn’t think it can be paid for.
“I just can’t do it,” the West Virginia Senator said.
“To expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren’t solvent, they’re going insolvent. I can’t explain that. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Manchin said. “I want to work with everyone as long as we can start paying for things. That’s all. I can’t put this burden on my grandchildren. I’ve got 10 grandchildren … I just can’t do it.”
President Biden‘s initial 12-week proposal was scaled back to 4-weeks in recent weeks in an effort to get Manchin on board.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had been having ongoing discussions with Manchin about keeping the provision. She described reports that it is completely out as “definitely premature.”
“He hasn’t signed off on my recent proposal, and so it’s not yet agreed to,” she said, “but I’m not giving up and I’m not going to give up until the deal is signed.”
Manchin told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t think family and medical leave belong in the bill at all.
“I’m looking at everything, but to put this into a reconciliation bill – it’s a major policy – is not the place to do it,” said Manchin. “We’ve got to be careful what we’re doing. If we’re going to do it, do it right,” he added.
The proposal becomes the latest element to be nixed from the bill, joining free tuition for community college, marginal tax rate increases to finance the proposal and the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), a cornerstone piece of Biden’s climate proposal.
According to CNN
, “free universal preschool, child care expansion, a fully refundable one-year extension of the Child Tax Credit, three years of expanded Affordable Care Act premiums and housing subsidies all appear likely to land in the final package” The climate portion of the package, even without the CEPP, is expected to include more than $500 billion of tax incentives and credits, along with substantial loan and grant programs in the push to reduce emissions.