Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) voiced his support for paid family and medical leave to be included in the pending Build Back Better Act.

The $1.75 trillion legislation — which the House of Representatives has already approved — would expand various social programs, including universal preschool, childcare subsidies, and climate change initiatives. Although many conservative and centrist lawmakers — such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — have stated that they will not endorse a plan with paid leave, Schumer doubled down on his support for the policy.

“One of the most important planks in our proposal is paid leave,” Schumer said during a media briefing. “We’re here to say that we are fighting very hard to get national comprehensive paid leave in the Build Back Better.”

CNBC reported that Schumer’s proclamation followed a lobbying effort from his constituents:

Advocates are campaigning tirelessly to try to ensure the issue does not wind up on the chopping block as lawmakers negotiate to get the package passed… 

After the proposal was dropped from the initial framework of the bill passed by the House in late October, families campaigned for the issue in Schumer’s own Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Park Slope.

In early December, more than 750 New York-area community organizations and leaders, including Schumer’s own rabbi, sent him a letter advocating for the proposal.

Outside of Congress, among the voices opposing the Build Back Better Act has been Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk.

“I would say can this bill, don’t pass it. That’s my recommendation,” argued Musk during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. “If this bill happens or doesn’t happen, we don’t think about it at all really. Honestly it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass.”

On Wednesday, Musk shared an analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — his alma mater — explaining that the national debt would increase by more than 24% if the bill’s provisions are made permanent. “There is a lot of accounting trickery in this bill that isn’t being disclosed to the public,” he commented. “Nothing is more permanent than a ‘temporary’ government program.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) argued that the Build Back Better agenda should include a 15% minimum tax for corporations earning over $1 billion in profits. Among the 70 eligible companies identified by a report from her office are Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, PayPal, and Salesforce. 

Another potential mechanism for raising additional government revenue for the Build Back Better agenda is an $80 billion windfall for the IRS — which would hire 87,000 more IRS agents and enable more than 1.2 million new federal tax audits each year.

A report from Republican members of the House Ways & Means Committee emphasized that nearly half of these audits — over 583,000 — would apply to Americans making less than $75,000 per year. Likewise, the funding would result in over 800,000 new federal tax liens on property such as homes and vehicles.

No comments:

Post a Comment