Obama Calls for Maternity Leave Legislation That Will Never Happen

Illustration for article titled Obama Calls for Maternity Leave Legislation That Will Never Happen

President Obama has called for the US to join almost every country in the entire world in mandating paid maternity leave for working women. Pretty thought, but as long as the same grandstanding, obstructionist ideologue fuckos occupy the House, it will never happen.


Mandatory paid maternity leave sure is a lovely-sounding idea for women who choose to have children, and America is embarrassingly behind the rest of the world when it comes to giving a shit about children after they're outside of the womb (and, depending on the race and socioeconomic status of the woman carrying the child, they often don't care much about the baby while it's in the womb, either). We're one of three countries that doesn't mandate paid maternity leave in the entire world. For the most part, people like the idea. Voters like the idea.

But it's not something that's going to pass. Let's let Florida Republican Senator and probable 2016 Presidential candidate Marco Rubio explain why:

"Telling federal agencies to do what they're already supposed to do and endorsing partisan legislation that will never pass is not the sort of bold, innovative leadership we need," Rubio said in a statement.

This is a bad idea because my party won't pass it because it's a bad idea because my party won't pass it because it's a bad idea because my party won't pass it (etc forever) (passes out). This is analogous to an arsonist calmly explaining to horrified homeowners that the house is burning down because he is burning the house down. Perhaps you shouldn't waste your time living in a house that will never not be burning down and instead focus on solutions.

President Obama has done what he can to promote paid maternity leave; he's used his authority to designate six paid weeks' leave for White House employees who need time to care for a newborn baby or a sick relative. But he doesn't have the same kind of pull with other federal employees or contractors.

Conservatives feign concern over mandatory paid leave because they say they're not sure who is going to pay for it. But Connecticut Democrat Rosa de Lauro has proposed paid maternity leave be funded by a 0.2% tax on employee earnings to be managed by the Social Security Administration. Again, that won't pass. Because of the whackadoodles America's most ardently wrong voters have elected to represent them in the House. It's always the House. And, thanks to gerrymandering that most voters have ignored for years, it will continue to be the House for a long time.



Many days late, many dollars short. As a woman who took six weeks paid maternity leave twice in the past few years, I can tell you that six weeks ain't enough. I actually don't even care if the leave is paid, so long as women can keep their insurance, have jobs to come back to after a few months, AND have leave for their spouses/partners prioritized. America: Where everyone wants you to have babies... until you have them.