WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Democrats held a rally on Capitol Hill to push for paid medical leave for all workers and say doing so would put the U.S. on par with every other major nation. Democrats say the U.S. needs to guarantee paid sick days and family leave for all workers.
“Paid family leave should be a national priority because our families should be a national priority,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) added, “at a time of record-breaking corporate profits and exorbitant CEO pay, the idea that the richest country in the history of the world cannot guarantee paid leave for its workers is an international embarrassment.”
Democrats are proposing legislation that would guarantee seven paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family medical leave to all American workers.
Supporters say the move would benefit the economy and help with employee retention.
“No worker should be forced to make an impossible choice between keeping their job and taking care of their loved ones, or taking care of themselves,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said.
However, Republicans say the government shouldn’t get involved and has no way to pay for it as Speaker Kevin McCarthy works to slash spending.
“The sad part, when I sit with the Democrats, their ideas are old. You know what they think? We should just tax more,” Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) said.
Republicans argue already existing government programs such as Social Security, Medicare and the Highway Trust Fund are in danger of running out of money.
Despite that opposition, Democrats say they’ll continue the push until paid sick and family leave become a reality.