Issa Amendment to Paid Parental Leave Act Relieves Taxpayers of New Cost Burden – Vote Likely Today

June 4, 2009

WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) will offer an amendment to legislation likely to be considered by the House of Representatives today, H.R. 626, the Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009, that will address concerns with the cost associated with the proposal which would guarantee four weeks of paid parental leave exclusively to government employees at a cost of almost $1 billion to taxpayers.

“In it’s current form, there is no way Congress can justify granting a costly benefit government workers at the expense of a nation that is struggling to survive the affects of a deep recession resulting in the loss of more than two million new jobs since January,”  Issa said.  “There is no way for Congress to tell nearly 14 million unemployed Americans that 2.7 million gainfully employed federal workers will receive additional benefits at a projected cost close to $1 billion.”

Issa’s amendment would require federal employees to “exhaust all annual and sick leave” before using any paid parental leave.  It would also classify the leave as “advanced” leave that would be “subject to recovery” preventing the incursion of any new costs for the benefit.

“It’s not that federal employees shouldn’t receive paid leave for hospitalization, recovery and adjustment time following the birth of a new child – it just shouldn’t come at the expense of an American workforce struggling to make ends meet.” Issa said.  “This amendment doesn’t get rid of the benefit, just the cost.  It will relieve taxpayers of the financial burden and allow it to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.”

Click here for a copy of the amendment.