WASHINGTON — Paid family leave, one of the hallmarks of President Joe Biden's social safety net agenda, is in jeopardy of being pared down once again or even cut from a major spending bill over a lack of support from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Manchin, one of two Senate Democrats who have chipped away at the president's "Build Back Better" proposal, is against including four weeks of paid family and medical leave, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. The four weeks provision was recently presented as a compromise to the 12 weeks Biden initially proposed. Asked Monday if he had concerns about the paid leave proposal, Manchin said: "I'm concerned about an awful lot of things." Manchin is also souring on Medicare vouchers to help cover annual dental costs, as well as a push to expand Medicaid in Republican-led states that have not offered expanded coverage. Biden's original proposal called for broadening Medicare coverage to include dental care. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday on Manchin's position. The U.S. is one of just eight countries without national paid maternity leave. Even if Democrats were to settle on four weeks paid parental leave, the U.S. would still lag numerous countries. The global average of paid maternity leave is 29 weeks and paid paternity leave is 16 weeks, according to data from the World Policy Analysis Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Some Democrats say that too many key components of Biden's spending package have already been gutted to satisfy Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the other Democratic holdout. Fresh opposition to paid family leave, a priority for Biden and progressives, could deal a significant setback to negotiations over the bill. During a trip to New Jersey on Monday, Biden commended Gov. Phil Murphy (D) for offering paid leave in his state, but made little other mention of his own leave proposal. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at NJ Transit Meadowlands Maintenance Complex to promote his "Build Back Better" agenda, on Oct. 25, 2021, in Kearny, N.J. Evan Vucci / AP "These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency," Biden said. "They're about expand . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: block, medicare, weeks, chopping, puts, leave, biden, manchin, vouchers, bill, family, paid, proposal, spending, bidens, democrats
ORG: G20, House, Senate, Sinema, Manchin, Medicaid, Medicare, NBC News, The White House, the University of California, the World Policy Analysis Center, the U.N. Climate Change Conference, NJ Transit Meadowlands Maintenance Complex,
DATE: Monday, Sunday, months, 16 weeks, 29 weeks, four weeks, the weekend, the 12 weeks, Oct. 25, 2021, later this week, the end of the summer
NORP: Democrats, Democratic, Republican, Republicans
MONEY: $3.5 trillion
CARDINAL: 50, one, two, four, three, just eight
WORK_OF_ART: Build Back Better