STATEMENT: Families Needing Leave Presented False and Insufficient Choices Under New Bill in Congress

Washington, D.C. — Today, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Colin Allred (D-TX) introduced new legislation called the Advancing Support for Working Families Act. Under the bill, parents of new children could borrow up to $5,000 from their future years’ child tax credit. Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the bill’s introduction:

To be clear, this bill is not paid leave—it’s a loan from families’ own pockets without a guarantee of time off. It forces families to make impossible choices such as caring for their new child or affording expenses of raising their child in the future. In so doing, the bill undermines the entire point of paid leave: helping workers care for themselves or their relatives without losing their job or economic security.

Not only does the proposal fly in the face of the American people’s lived experiences and research showing that more than three-quarters of workers who took Family and Medical Leave Act leave in the previous year used it for a purpose other than to care for a new child, but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding for how much families are already struggling to afford child care.

The American people already lose more than $20 billion a year in lost wages, which is why they overwhelmingly support plans such as the FAMILY Act, which would provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave. It is time for Congress to pass it and enable all Americans provide care without sacrificing their economic security.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.