Press Release ● Federal Employees
For Immediate Release: 
March 5, 2019
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-4131
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Don Beyer (VA-08), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) held a press event to introduce the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), legislation that would provide twelve weeks of paid family leave for federal employees. Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“I am pleased to be here. I am pleased to be here with President [Tony] Reardon [of the National Treasury Employees Union]. Tony, thank you very much for your leadership. I’m pleased to be here with Michelle [McGrain of the Partnership for Women and Families] and Deborah [Vagins of the American Association of University Women]… as well as my colleagues from Virginia, [Reps.] Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton.

“This bill is a critically important bill. The United States needs to join all of the countries that value families. They value the bonding of families, and they value the extraordinary benefit it is to infant children to have their parents present, talking to them, holding them, interfacing with them on a regular basis. We know that children [begin to] learn very early on, [starting] at birth, and our policy has not reflected that.

“Carolyn, I want to congratulate you on your leadership in keeping the faith. It has taken some time—but, you know, so many good things take a long time. I’m hopeful that this will be the session where we will adopt this legislation concerning the President, and then I am hopeful that the President will talk to his daughter, because his daughter talked about this when she gave a speech at the Republican National Convention, as you recall, about child care, family leave, children, moms, dads.

“I’m hopeful that this will pass. With Democrats in the Majority, the House will no longer [ignore] this issue, and we’ll give this legislation the consideration it deserves and is appropriate for our people. New parents need time to bond with their children and establish the routines of parenthood.

“This is the policy in my office—it’s not something new for us, it won’t affect us. We ought to do this because we understand, I understand that it is good for us. The reason so many people in the private sector do it is because they see it as good for their employees and that their employees’ morale is a lot higher because they had this opportunity to do it. Many private sector companies already do this.

“Currently, employees in the federal government are required to take unpaid parental leave, often exhausting the vacation and sick leave they have to get the time they need for their newborns or newly adopted children.

“[Republicans] shut down the government for 35 days, the longest in history. We saw federal employees in food lines. They ought not to be in food lines because we’re not paying them to be with their children. Those early eight weeks, twelve weeks are critically important, and so I am a big supporter of this legislation.

“I thank all of you for being here with all of us to help us pass this legislation. It is the right thing to do. Don Beyer is here. Jennifer Wexton from Virginia [is here]. I am the only one from the Washington suburbs of Maryland, but I guarantee you every one of [the Members representing Maryland] supports this legislation, and enthusiastically and energetically. We’re behind Carolyn Maloney’s efforts, and we hope to see this enacted in the very near future.”