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FAMILY Act


Steven Andrews

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Mr. President,

For decades, federal policymakers have dropped the ball on encouraging Americans to build families. We haven't been doing everything we can reasonably do to support American families. As a result, we've seen divorce rates rising, we've seen more unwed parents, we've seen more children being raised without the loving support a traditional family has to offer -- support studies have shown makes a real difference in outcomes for children well into adulthood.

We have to do more for America's working families, and I believe this bill is a workable way to achieve family and medical leave many families desperately need. While some of our colleagues on my side of the aisle may balk at the modest revenue adjustments involved, those adjustments pale in comparison to the expenses families have to meet to go on unpaid leave, or the burdens they have to handle if they can't take unpaid leave but still have to find a way to provide care to a family member. We're elected to make complex choices for the common good, not to stringently conform to oaths and pledges demanded by fringe libertarian special interest groups. Let's work across the aisle with each other to get this done for American families.

With that said, there is a flaw in this bill that needs correction. This bill as currently worded would let someone who commits fraud and abuses the family and medical leave system off with a slap on the wrist, because after a year they would be eligible to use the system again. Fraud and abuse against this system isn't just fraud and abuse against the federal government, it's fraud and abuse against taxpayers who will pay for this system. Taxpayers should never be expected to foot the bill to pay for anyone who commits fraud and abuse against them.

So with that in mind, I move to amend as follows:

Quote

(2) DISQUALIFICATION.—An individual who has been convicted of a violation under section 208 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 408) or who has been found to have used false statements to secure benefits under this section, shall be permanently ineligible for benefits under this section for a 1-year period following the date of such conviction.

I hope our colleagues across the aisle will recognize this is an amendment offered in good faith to strengthen the bill's chances of passage.

I yield.

Senator Holly Hawthorne (R-AK)

@HollyHawthorne | Join the Freedom Caucus!

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Mr. President,

I would like to continue debate.

Can the Senator from Indiana share what fiscal consequences he expects due to this bill? Section 7 (a)(2)(B) imposes a 0.2% payroll tax on every single worker and employer in the United States. If the U.S. has about 120 million workers, and 45 million of them take off for a couple months at some point in the year, that’s about $200 billion in paid leave. The 0.2% payroll tax couldn’t possibly cover that.

Mr. President, my fear is that in a few years, we will be back here on the Senate Floor discussing how much higher we need to raise Americans’ taxes to keep up with the millions of workers for whom we’re funding leave.

I yield.

Congress & Supreme Court Admin


Admin NPCs:
Rep. Derek H. Gray (D-TX-20)

Speaker of the House & Democratic Party Chair

 

The Hon. John Roberts

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

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Mr. President,

Seeing the Senate isn’t ready to proceed to a vote on this legislation, and the Senator doesn’t yet have projections on its fiscal impacts, I move to postpone debate until after the Fifth Docket.

I yield.

Congress & Supreme Court Admin


Admin NPCs:
Rep. Derek H. Gray (D-TX-20)

Speaker of the House & Democratic Party Chair

 

The Hon. John Roberts

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

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Mr. President,

While I appreciate the purpose of the Bill, this Senate will not rush a tax on the American people without first understanding the economic impact on individuals and small businesses. 

I yield.

Congress & Supreme Court Admin


Admin NPCs:
Rep. Derek H. Gray (D-TX-20)

Speaker of the House & Democratic Party Chair

 

The Hon. John Roberts

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

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