Today, on the 22nd anniversary of President Bill Clinton signing the Family and Medical Leave Act into law, the contrast of priorities between the two parties is still crystal clear.
In the spirit of the FMLA, President Obama took that a step further, advocating for earned paid sick and family leave, to bring stability to the hard working middle class families who may need to take care of an ailing parent or a sick kid. Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, started their term by focusing on bills to deport young people who have been in this country for the majority of their lives, restrict health care choices for women and families, and take health care away from millions of Americans who finally have some security. Quite the contrast.
On top of that, there’s not much hope the GOP will refocus on this proven measure to help families anytime soon.
- Jeb Bush, while governor of Florida, refused to extend unemployment insurance benefits to fathers and mothers taking time off after the birth or adoption of a child.
- Marco Rubio has said that he does not support federally mandated paid leave.
- John Kasich, while in Congress, voted against the Family and Medical Leave Act, twice.
- Chris Christie opposed family medical leave and said a statewide paid sick leave law would hurt New Jersey’s businesses and
- Rand Paul has refused to discuss policies about maternity and family leave.
- Scott Walker even pushed to nullify a statewide paid sick leave requirement after it has been helping families across the state for three years.
Who disagrees with them? The American people who overwhelmingly support paid sick leave and paid parental leave. And, for example, when a paid sick leave law was passed in one state, businesses saw almost no negative impacts, with boosts to key industries and increases in morale and motivation among employees. Just another issue that the Republican Party stands opposite of the American public.
So when Republicans say they are “fighting for the middle class” and “here to stick up for families,” it only takes a quick glance at their records and rhetoric for the American public to know the truth.