March 19, 2020

ICYMI: Gillibrand Pushes For Paid Sick And Family Leave In Phase III Of Coronavirus Response Package

In case you missed it, yesterday Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senate lead on the FAMILY Act, urged Congress to include the PAID Leave Act (Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave Act) in phase three of the coronavirus response stimulus package. The PAID Leave Act ensures that every worker in America has full paid sick and family leave, providing 14 sick days available immediately, and 3 months of COVID-19 related paid family leave, at two-thirds compensation. It enables the government to reimburse all employers for 2020 and 2021 for emergency paid sick and emergency paid leave, and covers all private sector employees and independent contractors. On a call with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Gillibrand vowed to ensure the PAID Leave Act is included in the coming economic package.

As workers across the country struggle to address financial burdens caused by coronavirus, the push for paid sick and family leave has earned national headlines. Check out some of the coverage below:

Politico: Senate passes coronavirus package as Treasury proposes rescue with emergency checks

In the meantime, some Senate Democrats are already laying out their demands for the stimulus package. They’re warning that Congress’ third phase of aid must include a far more broad paid sick leave policy, or it will not clear the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to pass.

[...] “It’s a non-starter if it’s not included in the next package,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), another long-time proponent of paid sick leave. “That next tranche of investment in the economy is going to require 60 votes. If it's not included, I don't believe Democratic support will be for the measure.”

Roll Call: Murray, others urge sick leave in future coronavirus bill

Murray was joined on the call by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., to say that enhanced sick leave and family medical leave would have to be part of future legislation to respond to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Murray, D-Wash., said she wants to include permanent mandates for up to seven paid sick days and paid family and medical leave.

[...] Gillibrand suggested that the sick leave provisions, which are also part of draft legislation that she, Murray and DeLauro just introduced, would be a condition to get broader relief legislation through the Senate.

“If it’s not included, I don’t believe Democrats will support the measure,” Gillibrand said.

Albany Times Union: Schumer, Gillibrand push long-term reforms in coronavirus stimulus

“We do need to have a long-lasting system change to how the economy works so that it works for everyone,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen over the last 20 years income inequality grow and only the top one percent are thriving in this economy. And it has to be fixed.”

Gillibrand's plan for a permanent paid family and medical leave program funded by a payroll tax is a key pillar of the Democratic plan to respond to the virus.

New York Daily News: Senate approves free coronavirus testing, economic relief for workers amid bipartisan momentum for fast action

Democrats, meanwhile, want funding in the next measure expanding the paid leave parameters.

“It’s a non-starter if it’s not included in the next package,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a conference call with reporters.

New York Daily NewsTrump signs major coronavirus relief package meant to ease burden of pandemic

Democrats, meanwhile, want to boost paid leave and unemployment insurance, saying the first go-around doesn’t cover all workers.

“It’s a non-starter if it’s not included in the next package,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a conference call with reporters.

Courthouse News Service: Senate Sends House-Passed Virus Response Bill to Trump 

Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced another amendment Wednesday, co-sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., that would boost leave available to American workers through H.R. 6201. It eventually failed in a 47-51, party-line vote.

[...] “I don’t think unemployment insurance to be given to the states is going to result in immediate relief for the employees that need it, and again you’re creating a false structure. Requiring people to quit their jobs so they can care for a child who’s been sent home from school is absurd,” Gillibrand said.

Maine Beacon: Senate passes coronavirus bill but Republicans kill effort to further expand paid sick days

However, an amendment to the package, the PAID Leave Act by Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), which would have closed the package’s gap in temporary paid sick leave protections for employees who work for businesses with over 500 employees, was voted down by 51 Republican senators including Senator Susan Collins. Independent Senator Angus King voted for it.

CSPAN2: Gillibrand PAID Leave Coronavirus Floor Speech

CSPAN2: Gillibrand PAID Leave Coronavirus Floor Speech  

MSNBCThe Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell