Dawn Huckelbridge of Paid Leave for All, a group that is helping organize advocacy efforts in Manchin’s home state, says supporters are doing “everything we can” to make sure the Senate bill keeps the policy if the House passes it. After a decadeslong push, “this can’t be the year that we fail at this,” Huckelbridge says.
House Democrats, backed by Biden, took the paid leave language out of the spending package in late October after Manchin’s opposition became clear. But Pelosi put it back in the bill on Nov. 3, the day after Democrats faced losses in elections in Virginia and other states. Her move was a nod to Democratic concerns that the party risked alienating voters by not following through with their bold campaign promises.
Pelosi said her message to Manchin is that “with all the respect in the world for the point of view he represents,” she disagrees with him.
Paid leave “fits very comfortably with child care, health care, home care” and other priorities included in the bill, “and it has the full support of our caucus,” she said.
After its revival, Manchin insisted that “I’m all for paid leave” but suggested it should be done outside of the current spending bill, in separate bipartisan legislation.
Fellow Democrats have pushed Manchin for weeks to try to get him on board, especially Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Gillibrand said in October that in multiple conversations the West Virginian had asked “good questions” but was “not focused on specifics” of the proposal.