Oversight Committee Passes Historic Legislation to Provide Paid Family Leave to Federal Employees
Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Committee voted favorably to approve her bills, the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act, AI in Counterterrorism Oversight Enhancement Act, and Made in America Pandemic Preparation Act, as well as several other bills to increase accountability in the federal government.
“Federal employees keep our nation running throughout times of crisis, and paid family leave is the lifeline they need to take care of their families while continuing this crucial work,” Chairwoman Maloney stated. “I am proud that today, the Committee passed my bill, the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act, and took a historic step towards making sure no federal worker ever has to choose between taking care of an ill family member and being able to put food on the table. We must continue to build on this progress and push forward nationwide policies to support all working families.”
Providing Paid Family Leave to Federal Employees
Introduced by Chairwoman Maloney, the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act is landmark legislation that would:
- Help federal workers access comprehensive paid family and medical leave by:
- Covering all 2.6 million federal employees;
- Granting up to 12 weeks of paid leave during a 12-month period for the qualifying reasons specified in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; and
- Ensuring that employees have access to paid leave if they get sick, need to care for an ill family member, or need to miss work due to a family member’s military deployment.
- Align with the American Families Plan laid out by the Biden Administration to make critical investments in making our economy stronger and more equitable through a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.
- Retain and recruit the best and brightest in service to the American people while encouraging the federal government—the largest employer in the nation—to lead by example in creating family-friendly work policies.
This legislation is endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU); American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE); National Partnership for Women & Families; National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA); Federally Employed Women (FEW); and Government Managers Coalition.
Improving the Government’s Artificial Intelligence Use
The Committee also approved the AI in Counterterrorism Oversight Enhancement Act, introduced by Chairwoman Maloney and Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The bill would strengthen the ability of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to provide meaningful oversight and governance related to the use of AI technologies for counterterrorism purposes.
Enhancing Domestic Supply Chains
The Committee also approved Chairwoman Maloney’s Made in America Pandemic Preparation Act to incentivize the development and stabilization of the domestic supply chains necessary to protect the country from life-threatening shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in times of crisis. The bill would require that PPE procured for the Strategic National Stockpile be produced in America unless it is inconsistent with American security interests, if the items are not available from domestic sources, or if the items are too costly.
Increasing Federal Accountability
In addition, the Committee approved several other bills to increase accountability and transparency in the federal government:
- H.R. 4125, the Keep the Watchdogs Running Act, a bipartisan bill to authorize Inspectors General to continue operations as if operating under a continuing resolution during a lapse in appropriations;
- H.R. 1508, the Guidance Clarity Act, to require federal agencies to include guidance clarity statements on the first page of all guidance documents;
- H.R. 4465, the Federally Funded Research and Technology Development Protection Act, to require the Office of Management and Budget to enhance transparency and accountability measures in federal grantmaking.
- H.R. 2994, the Accountability for Acting Officials Act, to strengthen requirements for the “first assistant” in an office or agency serving as an acting official;
- H.R. 4448, the Administrative Law Judge Competitive Service Restoration Act, to reestablish Administrative Law Judges as members of the competitive civil service;
- H.R. 3533, “To establish occupational series for Federal positions in software development, software engineering, data science, and data management”;
- H.R. 4393, “To require the Directors of the Courts Services and Offender Supervision Agency of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency to reside in the District of Columbia”;
Additionally, the Committee passed several postal naming measures for United States Postal Service facilities across the country.