Call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act

FACT SHEET: White House Unveils New Steps to Strengthen Working Families Across America

Tomorrow, the President will unveil new proposals to strengthen the middle class by giving working families the flexibility to balance their families and jobs and giving all Americans the opportunity to earn sick days.  Building on the steps the Administration announced last year during the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, tomorrow’s announcement includes:

  • Calling on Congress, as well as States and cities, to pass legislation [The Healthy Families Act] that would allow millions of working Americans to earn up to seven days of paid sick time per year;
  • Proposing more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to develop paid family and medical leave programs and announcing that the Department of Labor will use $1 million in existing funds to help States and municipalities conduct feasibility studies; and
  • Modernizing the Federal workplace by signing a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for parents with a new child and calling on Congress to pass legislation giving federal employees an additional six weeks of paid parental leave.

The challenge of balancing work and family has grown as families have shifted so that today in most families all parents work and all parents contribute to caregiving.  Across married and single parent families, all parents are working in more than 60 percent of households with children, up from 40 percent in 1965.  And today, more than 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 participate in the labor force, compared with around 30 percent in the 1970s.  Yet the fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job. In fact, the United States remains the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

That is why the President is announcing additional efforts to help working families that build on the steps he announced at last June’s White House Summit, including support for states to design paid leave programs and a Presidential Memorandum that established a “right to request” flexible workplace arrangements for Federal workers and directed Federal agencies to expand flexible workplace policies to the maximum possible extent. The White House Council on Economic Advisers also released a report (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/leave_report_final.pdf) last June on the economic benefits of paid leave. From increasing the minimum wage, to equal pay for women, to workplace flexibility, to child care, to paid leave – President Obama is taking action on issues that impact America’s working families.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/fact-sheet-white-house-unveils-new-steps-strengthen-working-families-acr

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Maternity Leave Law by Countries

The United States it the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail

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22 thoughts on “Call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act

  1. WH

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:05 AM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Cameron
    Oval Office

    12:00 PM
    12:20 PM
    President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom hold a joint press conference
    The East Room

    1:00 PM
    Vice President Biden, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tour the Anacostia River Tunnel Project Anacostia River Tunnel Project, Southeast Washington D.C

    1:30 PM
    Vice President Biden Speaks on the Importance of Investing in our Nation’s Infrastructure
    Anacostia River Tunnel Project, Southeast Washington D.C

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM
    President Obama hosts the cast and crew of “Selma” at a White House screening
    Family Theater

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act.

    January 14, 2015

    FACT SHEET: White House Unveils New Steps to Strengthen Working Families Across America

    Tomorrow, the President will unveil new proposals to strengthen the middle class by giving working families the flexibility to balance their families and jobs and giving all Americans the opportunity to earn sick days. Building on the steps the Administration announced last year during the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, tomorrow’s announcement includes:

    * Calling on Congress, as well as States and cities, to pass legislation [The Healthy Families Act] that would allow millions of working Americans to earn up to seven days of paid sick time per year;

    * Proposing more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to develop paid family and medical leave programs and announcing that the Department of Labor will use $1 million in existing funds to help States and municipalities conduct feasibility studies; and

    * Modernizing the Federal workplace by signing a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for parents with a new child and calling on Congress to pass legislation giving federal employees an additional six weeks of paid parental leave.

    The challenge of balancing work and family has grown as families have shifted so that today in most families all parents work and all parents contribute to caregiving. Across married and single parent families, all parents are working in more than 60 percent of households with children, up from 40 percent in 1965. And today, more than 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 participate in the labor force, compared with around 30 percent in the 1970s. Yet the fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job. In fact, the United States remains the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

    That is why the President is announcing additional efforts to help working families that build on the steps he announced at last June’s White House Summit, including support for states to design paid leave programs and a Presidential Memorandum that established a “right to request” flexible workplace arrangements for Federal workers and directed Federal agencies to expand flexible workplace policies to the maximum possible extent. The White House Council on Economic Advisers also released a report (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/leave_report_final.pdf) last June on the economic benefits of paid leave. From increasing the minimum wage, to equal pay for women, to workplace flexibility, to child care, to paid leave – President Obama is taking action on issues that impact America’s working families.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/fact-sheet-white-house-unveils-new-steps-strengthen-working-families-acr

    • January 15, 2015

      Remarks by the President on Working Families in a 21st Century Economy

      Charmington’s Café
      North Baltimore, Maryland

      1:46 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. I want to thank Amanda and the whole crew here at this wonderful coffee shop. And I also want to thank Vika and Mary, as well as the senior senator from the state of Maryland, Barbara Mikulski.

      We’ve had a great conversation about the announcements I’m making today and that I’ll amplify in the State of the Union about how can we support working families so that they have the tools to succeed in this new economy.

      Part of the reality of the new economy is that 60 percent of households have two people working, and if they’ve got kids or they’ve got an ailing parent, juggling both doing right by their family and making a living can be tough.

      Now, one of the biggest problems that we have is that there are 43 million Americans who don’t get paid sick leave, which when you think about it is a pretty astonishing statistic. And that means that no matter how sick they are, or how sick a family member is, they may find themselves having to choose to be able to buy groceries or pay the rent, or look after themselves or their children.

      And part of the reason we wanted to have this conversation here was because Amanda, who is part of the cooperative that opened this coffee shop, is really adamant, as a small business, in looking after their employees and providing paid sick leave, and making sure that they’re paying above minimum wage. And what Amanda has found — and we’ve heard this from a lot of employers — is, is that when they make that investment in their employees it pays dividends because the employees are more productive, there’s lower turnover, there’s greater productivity. And in fact, both large and small companies, it turns out, end up being more profitable over the long term, because, typically, any organization and certainly business is only going to be as good as its people.

      We had a chance to hear from Mary, who is a school nurse as well as a small businesswoman, and Mary made the point that even now she finds herself in a situation where during flu season you’ve got a kid who is at school, has a bad flu — she needs to call the parent to try to get them to pick up their kid, and the parent can’t do it because they risk losing their job or losing a big chunk of their paycheck. And that obviously put everybody else’s kids at risk because you’ve got a sick child there who can infect others.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/15/remarks-president-working-families-21st-century-economy

  3. Hi CR,

    The title to your blog post is a joke, Right?

    The chances of getting this GOP, heartless, Congress to pass a bill helping American Working Families is like getting the Academy to nominate Ava DuVernay, Director of Selma, for an Oscar for Best Director… I didn’t say award the Oscar to her–Just To Nominate…It just ain’t gonna happen… Anyway, best of luck Barack & Ava. 🙂

    Just know: We, the open minded, People, appreciate and love the two of you…

    Thanks for post.

    • Hi Isaac,

      I know, I know. PBO proposed it so I broadcast it. When the GOP Congress nukes PBO’s proposal hopefully the press will report it and the American public will revolt.

      I also thought that Selma should have received more nominations.

  4. Immigrants can now get Mexican birth certificates in US

    1/15/15 Amy Taxin – AP

    SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — For Mexicans living in the U.S. illegally and hoping to stay in the country under President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy, things just got one step simpler.

    On Thursday, the Mexican government began issuing birth certificates to its citizens at its consulates in the United States.

    That will make it a little easier for Mexicans hoping to obtain U.S. work permits, driver’s licenses and protection from deportation.

    Up until now, Mexico required its citizens to get birth certificates at government offices in Mexico. Many of those living in this country had to ask friends and relatives back home to retrieve the paperwork.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/immigrants-now-mexican-birth-certificates-us-061932104.html

    • Hi vitaminlover.

      If the GOP Congress has any heart at all then they should pass this law!

      The United States it the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

  5. President Obama to screen ‘Selma’ at the White House

    Jan 15, 2015 at 9:34PM By Emily Blake – entertainmentweekly

    According to The Washington Post, President Obama is hosting a screening of the film at the White House on Friday. The Post reports that the invitation has been extended to a “very small group” that includes the film’s cast and crew, Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, and Common, who received an Oscar nod with John Legend for “Glory,” off the Selma soundtrack.

    Ava DuVernay was noticeably absent from the Best Director race when this year’s Oscar noms were announced, as was leading man David Oyelowo from the Best Actor category.

  6. Consumer Prices in U.S. Drop by Most in Six Years as Fuel Slumps

    Jan 16, 2015 5:30 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    The cost of living in the U.S. declined in December by the most in six years, reflecting a plunge in energy costs that’s keeping inflation from rising toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.

    The consumer-price index dropped 0.4 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008, after falling 0.3 percent in November, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of 89 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent decline. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure was unchanged, failing to rise for only the second time since 2010.

    The biggest drop in clothing costs since 1998 combined with falling air fares and cheaper new and used cars signal the deceleration in inflation is spreading beyond energy as Japan and Europe are in or near a recession and some emerging markets cool. Sustained broad-based price declines test Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s view that the drop in fuel won’t reverberate through the economy.

    “It’s going to take a little bit of time for the pass-through from lower energy prices to work its way into core prices, but I think core inflation’s likely to slow somewhat in the near term,” Gus Faucher, an economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh, said before the report. “It’s pushing inflation further below the Fed’s target.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-16/consumer-prices-in-u-s-drop-by-most-in-six-years-as-fuel-slumps.html

  7. Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Surges to 11-Year High

    Jan 16, 2015 7:00 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence jumped in January to the highest level in 11 years as steady job gains and plunging gas prices brightened the outlook for U.S. households.

    The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index rose to 98.2, the highest since January 2004, from a final reading of 93.6 in December. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 70 economists projected an increase to 94.1.

    Trips to the pump that are costing less and less and job gains that have accelerated are helping Americans feel more optimistic about the economic recovery, now in its sixth year. Continued gains in confidence combined with stronger wage growth will be needed to embolden consumers to go out and spend their savings on purchases from vehicles to homes.

    “The consumer is in very good shape,” Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “They’re getting a significant tailwind from lower gasoline prices, the job market is improving, stock prices are trending higher and house prices are rising.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-16/consumer-sentiment-in-u-s-surges-to-11-year-high-as-fuel-drops.html

  8. President Obama Meets with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

    Published on Jan 16, 2015

    On January 16, 2015, President Obama delivered remarks after meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom.

  9. Biden to announce water infrastructure spending push

    1/16/15 06:00 AM EST By Justin Sink – TheHill

    Vice President Biden on Friday will announce a trio of new federal initiatives designed to spur new infrastructure spending to upgrade the nation’s drinking and waste water systems.

    The programs, which Biden will announce following a tour of the Anacostia River Tunnel Project — a massive underground tunnel that will store storm water in an effort to clean up the capital’s notoriously polluted rivers — are the latest effort in a push by the Obama administration to help facilitate local and private spending on infrastructure projects.

    The initiatives include a new Water Finance Center at the Environmental Protection Agency that will work to connect local governments and utility companies with federal grants to rebuild sewer systems and keep streams and rivers clean. The White House estimates that some $600 billion in infrastructure improvements will be needed to address water management over the next two decades.

    “The new Center will help interested local and state governments to bring private sector investment and expertise into water system construction and management. Among other roles, the center will bring together investors and project sponsors; highlight promising deals; provide peer-to-peer learning and workshops; and develop case studies and toolkits,” the White House said.

    Separately, the Department of Agriculture is announcing the “Rural Opportunity Investment Initiative,” which will look to attract private financing for rural water, energy and broadband projects.

    And the vice president will unveil a proposal for a new type of municipal bond, called Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds, which will allow public-private infrastructure projects to raise municipal bonds.

    For more: http://thehill.com/policy/229729-biden-to-announce-water-infrastructure-spending-push

    • January 16, 2015

      FACT SHEET: Increasing Investment in U.S. Roads, Ports and Drinking Water Systems Through Innovative Financing

      Building a 21st-century infrastructure is a critical component of the Administration’s efforts to accelerate economic growth, expand opportunity, create jobs and improve the competitiveness of the American economy. As part of this effort, President Obama launched the Build America Investment Initiative in July 2014, calling on federal agencies to find new ways to increase investment in ports, roads, bridges, broadband networks, drinking water and sewer systems and other projects by facilitating partnerships between federal, state and local governments and private sector investors.

      Today, the Obama Administration is announcing new steps that federal agencies are taking to bring private sector capital and expertise to bear on improving our nation’s roads, bridges, and broadband networks. First, the Administration is launching a new Water Finance Center at the Environmental Protection Agency and highlighting the progress of the Rural Opportunity Investment Initiative at the Department of Agriculture. These efforts will help local and state governments access federal loan and grant programs to get more projects off the ground. The Administration is also announcing a new set of infrastructure tax proposals that will level the playing field for projects that combine public and private investment so that local and state governments can more easily work with the private sector to advance the public interest.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/16/fact-sheet-increasing-investment-us-roads-ports-and-drinking-water-syste

    • January 16, 2015

      Presidential Memorandum — Expanding Federal Support for Predevelopment Activities for Nonfederal Domestic Infrastructure Assets

      MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

      SUBJECT: Expanding Federal Support for Predevelopment Activities for Nonfederal Domestic Infrastructure Assets

      The United States is significantly underinvesting in both the maintenance of existing public infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure projects. While there is no replacement for adequate public funding, innovative financing options and increased collaboration between the private and public sectors can help to increase overall investment in infrastructure.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/16/presidential-memorandum-expanding-federal-support-predevelopment-activit

  10. Gay marriage: High court sets stage for historic ruling

    1/16/15 Mark Sherman – AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.

    The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.

    Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman. On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

    Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/justices-must-act-fast-gay-marriage-settled-june-083801891.html

  11. West Wing Week: 1/16/15 or, “The Little Circle Thing”

    Published on Jan 16, 2015

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President continued to preview some of the big ideas that he’ll propose in his State of the Union address on January 20th. He made announcements on education, on cybersecurity, and on access to reliable broadband Internet across the country. For all of you who just can’t bear to wait until the State of the Union, this one’s for you. That’s January 9th to January 15th or, “The Little Circle Thing.”

  12. January 16, 2015

    Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Haitian President Michel Martelly

    The Vice President spoke today with Haitian President Michel Martelly, continuing their dialogue on the United States’ long-term support for Haiti’s reconstruction, development, and democratic progress. The Vice President commended President Martelly for his efforts to reach a negotiated agreement with the Haitian parliament and political parties to allow Haiti to hold elections. The Vice President recognized that President Martelly made several important concessions in order to reach consensus, and expressed disappointment that Haiti’s Parliament did not pass an electoral law before lapsing on January 12. The Vice President reiterated the support of the United States and the international community as President Martelly works to organize timely elections this year to permit Haitians to exercise their democratic right to choose their representatives. He also reaffirmed that the United States remains Haiti’s committed friend and partner and looks forward to deepening bilateral cooperation as President Martelly’s Administration works to build a more prosperous and secure future for the Haitian people.

  13. Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police

    January 16, 2015 By Robert O’Harrow Jr., Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich – washingtonpost

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without proving that a crime occurred.

    Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.

    Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department called Equitable Sharing.

    The program has enabled local and state police to make seizures and then have them “adopted” by federal agencies, which share in the proceeds. The program allowed police departments and drug task forces to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of the adopted seizures, with the rest going to federal agencies.

    For more: http://goo.gl/bqkoSU

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