Rep. Ocasio-Cortez highlights “unusual” paid parental leave plan


One political topic that has divided voters is paid parental leave.

Though lawmakers and voters are contentious regarding the issue, for Congress paid parental leave is left up to the individual employer as it is in workplaces throughout the United States.

In the first six months of being in office, New York rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D) legislative director, Ariel Eckbald, was one of three in a small team who were new parents or expectant parents in Ocasio-Cortez’s office.

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In early Spring, Eckbald returned to work, and Ocasio-Cortez has argued that providing paid parental leave would not harm the work environment and would instead instill more confidence in workers. For her, simply put, if an employer pays a living minimum wage to junior staffers, then workers won’t be forced to take on another job.

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In her words, “senior staffers are confident enough in them to take parental leave and not feel like everything will fall apart.”

Earlier this year, Democrats reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, and it would allow for twelve weeks of paid family leave that would be funded by a payroll tax shared between employers and employees.

Republicans have responded by introducing a paid family leave bill that requires parents to borrow from Social Security benefits and delay retirement.

In addition, President Trump has proposed six weeks of paid leave in his 2020 Budget, and he has explained that the details of implementing the paid leave would be left up to the individual states. His budget also includes a call for $1 billion in funding for child care programs.

In a string of tweets in early May, rep. Ocasio-Cortez defended what some call an “unusual” plan, asserting that “*every* new parent receives 3 mos paid leave – including dads.”

She added that it’s vital “to give dads full parental leave,” and that she encourages all of them to take the full time.

Daniel Molina was the Opinion Editor of his high school’s newspaper, and he was also Editor-in-Chief of Miami Dade College’s Urbana literary and arts magazine wherein he also won the 2013 FCSAA Best Fiction Story in the State of Florida Award. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in English Literature. Hobbies in his free time include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.