Paid leave, a major part of Democrats’ wide-ranging social-spending bill, may be left on the cutting-room floor as the party’s moderates and progressives try to hammer out an agreement this week.
President Joe Biden last week said the proposed program had been cut to four weeks in negotiations, from Democrats’ original idea of giving all U.S. workers up to 12 weeks of paid family medical leave.
On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Democrats may have to abandon sick leave and focus only on limited benefits for new parents with children, according to the Washington Post.
“It’s not looking good, and I wish it were otherwise,” said the Massachusetts Democrat, according to the Post. “We’re still trying to talk about” family leave, she added.
Proponents of paid leave are running into opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat whose vote is key in the evenly divided Senate.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Manchin told reporters on Wednesday, citing financial strain faced by other government programs.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, separately said she has a paid-leave proposal and is trying to meet with Manchin on Wednesday.