Pelosi adds 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave back into social spending bill

Nov 3, 2021, 10:10 AM
Pelosi paid family and medical leave...
FILE: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pauses for an interpreter as she hosts a visit with Roberto Fico, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. After losses on Election Day, Democrats are rushing to overcome party battles and finish a final draft of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda to pave the way for voting as soon as Thursday on the overall package. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Originally Published: 03 NOV 21 11:10 ET
Updated: 03 NOV 21 11:38 ET

    (CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a major shift, announced on Wednesday that four weeks of paid family and medical leave will be added back into the social spending bill, after Democrats had previously scrapped the provision from the package.

Adding a version of the leave policies back into the package brings back to life a central and popular plank of President Joe Biden’s initial proposal, and comes as Democrats try to unify over their messaging after suffering a significant loss in the Virginia governor’s race.

Pelosi’s move suggests a shift in strategy: Adding policies in the bill that can help it in the House — such as paid leave — only to have it stripped in the Senate. So the bills will likely have to ping pong and be sent back to the House once the Senate changes it.

Pelosi had insisted for months, including to CNN just this week, she would only move a bill that can pass the Senate. She wanted to spare her moderates a tough vote twice, though that no longer seems to be the case.

In her Dear Colleague letter announcing the decision, Pelosi said paid family and medical leave are being added back into the bill, but also says she is committed to only passing a bill in the House that can also pass the Senate.

“(Because) we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President’s desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation,” Pelosi writes. “As we are reviewing priorities and at the urging of many Members of the Caucus, I have asked the Ways and Means Committee for its legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included in this morning’s hearing.”

Pelosi also says that there will be a Rules committee hearing later Wednesday on the bill, known as the Build Back Better Act.

Democrats had previously scrapped the family leave provision after failing to reach a compromise with key moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had several objections to the measure — a position he reiterated Wednesday.

Last week, Manchin made clear he would not budge on his position on the provision, telling reporters, “I just can’t do it.”

Pelosi said in her letter Wednesday that Democrats “must strive to find common ground in the legislation.”

The decision from Pelosi, given Manchin’s previously stated position, suggests she is shifting her strategy of only having a bill that can pass both the House and Senate.

Pelosi has said she wanted the House to vote on the economic agenda bill and a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill, that has already passed the Senate, by the end of this week.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories


Justice Stephen Breyer and President Joe Biden....
Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

Breyer makes it official: He’s leaving the Supreme Court on Thursday at noon

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Breyer said it had been his "great honor" to participate as a judge in the "effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law."
16 hours ago
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul stands with Lieutenant governor Antonio Delgado during their primary ele...
STEVE PEOPLES AP National Politics Writer

Takeaways from first primaries since Roe v. Wade overturned

The abortion debate consumed the nation this week, but there was no race where it mattered more than Colorado's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, where businessman Joe O'Dea became one of the only abortion-rights-supporting Republicans in the nation to win a statewide primary this year.
16 hours ago
Gov. Spencer Cox announced Utah Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman is his nominee to serve on t...
Mark Jones

Gov. Cox announces Utah Supreme Court nominee

Utah Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman is Gov. Spencer Cox's Utah Supreme Court nominee as announced Tuesday.
2 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Becky Bruce

Different abortion law now in effect in Utah

A different abortion law is now in effect in Utah, and it bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are several exceptions to this law.
2 days ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Amie Schaeffer

Utah primary election: Acceptable ID to bring for in-person voting

Utah's Primary Election is today. Voters need to be sure they have the right identification to cast their ballot.
2 days ago
Photo: Utah Department of Transportation...
Mark Jones

UDOT seeks public feedback on future of Bangerter Highway

UDOT is hosting scoping open houses on Tuesday and Wednesday at Granger High School to get feedback on the future of Bangerter Highway between 4100 South and California Avenue.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Pelosi adds 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave back into social spending bill