Paid Leave Allies Mull Fallback Options as Cost Pressures Mount

By Paige Smith, Ian Kullgren, Ben Penn


House Democrats’ model calls for benefits to become available in July 2023, but that also could be changed to alter cost. Biden’s earlier proposal is cheaper than that of House Democrats, with a projected cost of $225 billion over a decade; it would gradually phase in benefits, hitting the maximum duration of 12 weeks in year 10.

Hannah Matthews, deputy executive director for policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy, acknowledged that a phased-in approach is a plausible option.

Emily Andrews, director of education, labor & worker justice at the Center for Law and Social Policy, said only around a quarter of workers who use paid leave offered by companies do so because they are new parents.

“It touches every part of the life cycle and every part of our lives,” she said. “We are advocating for a permanent paid leave program that is truly universal.”

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