Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paid Parental Leave Passes House - But Not by Veto-Proof Margin

Semi-good news here. The bill approves four weeks of both maternal and paternal leave - so wonderful news for dads. Sadly, the majority was large, but not large enough to pass Bush's veto pen.

Jim Webb (bless his heart) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate, where I suspect the margin will be tighter. After all, who can afford paid parental leave when there are dictators to prop up the world over?

At least President Obama will have some decent legislation to sign after he's inaugurated.

Australia is the only other country besides the United States that offers no paid maternity leave. The bill would, however, still leave us behind the United Nations recommendations of 16 paid weeks for mothers. As USA Today notes, our lack of paid leave reflects "a radically different approach to maternity leave than the rest of the developed world" - one undertaken "with little public debate."

Isn't it time we debated it?