Backgrounder

FAMILY Act

Tags:

Coronavirus, Democrat bill, Paid time off

Bill name: FAMILY Act
Bill sponsor: H. R. 1185, S. 463, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLaura (D-CT) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Summary:  The FAMILY Act would create a federal family and medical leave insurance program, a new federal mandate to provide workers with paid family and medical leave. The benefit would be available for up to 12 weeks at two-thirds wage replacement, with a maximum monthly benefit amount of $4,000 and minimum of $580, indexed annually to inflation. To be eligible, an individual must be away from their job to care for a personal or family health issue, care for a newborn or adopted child, or to deal with a family member’s military deployment or injury.

The bill would also create a new federal Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration and a Federal Family and Medical Leave Insurance Trust Fund.  Federal payroll taxes would be increased to pay for the program. Individuals would pay an increase of 0.2% in federal payroll taxes and employers would pay an increase of 0.2% in federal payroll taxes. Self-employed workers would see a 0.4% increase in payroll taxes.

Background:  The Congressional Budget Office scored the FAMILY Act in February 2020, stating it would increase direct spending by $547 billion over 10 years, increase taxes by $319 billion over 10 years, and increase the federal deficit by $228 billion over 10 years. Further, CBO estimates the FAMILY Act would increase the Social Security Administration’s administrative costs by $27 billion.

The new paid leave mandate created by this bill would not supersede or preempt the existing patchwork of state or local paid leave laws or requirements ― nor would it supersede collective bargaining agreements. Rather, this federal mandate would overlay any and all state and local laws and collective bargaining agreements.

Bill Status:  The FAMILY Act was reintroduced in February 2019. It was also included in the Senate Democrats’ Coronoavirus-response PAID Leave Act (S. 3513). There has been no legislative action on either bill.

Click here to download the FAMILY Act backgrounder. 

Also related: PAID Leave Act

Also related: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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RESOURCES

LETTER: Budgetary Effects of H.R. 1185, the FAMILY Act
February 13, 2020, Congressional Budget Office
Philip L. Swagel, Director, CBO
https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-02/hr1185_2.pdf

BLOG: CBO: Democrats’ Paid Leave Proposal Would Blow Up Spending, Burden Social Security Administration
February 13, 2020
House Ways & Means Committee minority
https://gop-waysandmeans.house.gov/cbo-democrats-paid-leave-proposal-would-blow-up-spending-burden-social-security-administration/#:~:text=The%20estimate%20was%20requested%20by%20Ways%20and%20Means,for%20even%20more%20taxes%20than%20Democrats%20have%20advertised.

BLOG: The Paid Family Leave Tracker
Aparna Mathur and Isabel Sawhill, American Enterprise Institute
https://www.aei.org/multimedia/the-paid-family-leave-tracker/

PRESS RELEASE: DeLauro, Gillibrand Reintroduce the FAMILY Act
February 12, 2019, House Education & Labor Committee
https://edlabor.house.gov/media/press-releases/delauro-gillibrand-reintroduce-the-family-act

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