Progressive provisions are starting to come back into the $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill currently being debated among Democrats in Congress. Earlier this week, we learned that prescription drug price controls would return to the bill in large part thanks to the efforts of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Now we are learning that paid family leave is also returning as part of the legislation. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin had initially opposed the provision, despite it being widely popular among the American people and despite the US being one of only a small handful of countries to not offer paid time off for new parents. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced that paid leave would be part of the House Rules Committee’s discussion. If approved, the provision would provide four weeks of paid time off, far short of the twelve weeks initially proposed by President Biden. There’s still a long way to go before the Build Back Better Act gets signed into law and the bill has so far had its fair share of setbacks, but at least this week there have been signs that it is heading in a more positive direction.
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