House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday that paid leave would be added back into a massive social spending bill after previously being removed due to moderate opposition.
The Biden administration's $1.75 trillion spending bill has drawn criticism from progressives and moderates alike. Progressives don't think it goes far enough toward realizing their goals for sweeping social and economic change, while moderates think it goes way too far. One aspect to which the latter have drawn attention is the inclusion of paid leave.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, for example, has long been critical of the decision to incorporate paid leave into the bill, arguing that such a program is fiscally irresponsible and should not be passed via simple majority vote.
"As we are reviewing priorities and at the urging of many Members of the Caucus, I have asked the Ways and Means Committee for its legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included in this morning’s hearing," Pelosi wrote in a letter.
Pelosi did not mention Sen. Manchin by name, but noted that she was aware of pushback against certain parts of the bill. "Because I have been informed by a Senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill," she wrote, "and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President’s desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation."
According to Fox News, Sen. Manchin said on Wednesday he was unaware that Pelosi intended to add paid leave back into the bill.