Eye Opener: Paid Parental Leave Clears the House
Happy Friday! Federal employees are one step closer to getting four weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child as House lawmakers approved the long-sought measure last night mostly along party lines.
"As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government should offer competitive benefits to those already offered in the private sector," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last night. "Family-friendly practices help improve children’s health and development; they also reduce turnover."
“Today we show that this Congress doesn’t just talk about family values -- it values families," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the bill's lead sponsor. "As more families are relying on just one paycheck in these times, we can’t afford not to help them in this way."
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) led Republican and conservative opposition to the bill, accusing Democrats of passing on billions of dollars in associated costs.
"While Democrats talk about helping children, they can’t help themselves from piling a massive Federal debt onto their future," he said.
"This isn't the first time Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has used rather creative arguments against giving Frankie and Flo Fed a benefit similar to those found in 168 countries and 75 percent of the Fortune 100 companies.
"Last month, when the committee approved the legislation, Issa warned that Frankie and Flo could stock up on children, year after year, to get those four weeks of paid time. Workers 'could have one adoption or one foster child per year, resulting in every year you get a new foster child, every year the husband and wife if they are both federal workers would take four weeks off with pay, because they have simply taken in a new foster child,' he said then."
President Obama supports the measure and is expected to sign it if approved by the Senate.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments section below.
• Thank You, Eric Pianin: It's a bittersweet day in Eye world as Eric Pianin, the creator of The Federal Eye, departs The Washington Post today after an illustrious 28-year career. Eric has covered it all: from Washington, D.C. politics, the environment, countless congressional budget fights, two government shutdowns and one presidential impeachment. He's most recently guided The Post's relaunch of The Fed Page, working with yours truly, the great Al Kamen and Joe Davidson and countless other colleagues to refocus our attention on the bureaucratic bumps and grinds of Washington. Eric is a class act, a true gentleman and The Eye thanks him a million times over for his support, encouragement, wise counsel and friendship.
• Cabinet and Staff News: What do Canada, Mexico, Haiti and South Africa have in common?: They have new U.S. ambassadors. An East Wing shakeup! Who advised Obama on the Cairo speech? Ex-Google official's new administration job wrankles some. (Love the word "wrankle," btw). Is George Mitchell headed to Damascus? The new FDA chief likes the big food safety bill. White House set to appoint a Pay Czar. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits Boston and Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari tours Racine County, Wis. today as part of the cabinet's economic recovery tour.
• FAA Could Close 20 Weather Offices: The government got one step closer yesterday to closing weather offices at 20 regional air traffic control centers around the country and consolidating at two offices in Maryland and Missouri.
• Interference at the Library of Congress?: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) accuses top officials at the Library of Congress of interfering with investigations conducted by its independent watchdogs and for frequently admonishing investigators for the tone and focus of their investigations.
• IRS Weighs New Rules on Tax Preparers: The commissioner wants better leverage to make sure tax preparers act ethically, not only to improve enforcement, but also to ensure that taxpayers get quality help in preparing their returns.
• EPA Rethinks Backing of Ground-Up Tires for Playgrounds: Agency scientists worry they don't have enough information about potential health risks from chemicals in the rubber material.
• Background Checks Blocked at NASA Lab: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit let stand a 2008 decision that blocked extensive background checks for “low-risk” contract workers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena
• Tracking Jobs Created Under Recovery Act Could be Tricky: Ed DeSeve, special adviser to the president and the Office of Management and Budget for implementing the Recovery Act, said on Thursday that it will be up to fund recipients to estimate the number of jobs created or saved.
• HUD Revises Rules for Stimulus Money: They've lowered the threshold that the nation's public housing agencies must meet to get some of the stimulus money set aside for new roofing, plumbing and other renovations.
Posted by: SilverSpring2 | June 5, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MatthewKessler | June 5, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sjones3 | June 5, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pmaley | June 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: xcharliemoore | June 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ginniemae | June 5, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DrFish | June 5, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: BJD55 | June 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dcgrasso1 | June 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: heatherleaelliott | June 7, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fiftythree | June 10, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.