Casey, Senators Urge Majority Leader to Allow Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to Have Up or Down Vote

In Letter To Leader McConnell, Lead Senate Dem Sponsors Of Four Budget Resolution Amendments That Garnered Strong Bipartisan Support Formally Request That The Legislative Version Of These Non-Binding Amendments Be Given Up-Or-Down Votes On The Senate Floor /Only Two Weeks ago, Majorities Supported Non-Binding Amendments that Protect Pregnant Workers From Discrimination, Provide Workers With Paid Sick Leave, Ensure Same Sex Couples Have Equal Access To Federal Benefits And Enact Tax Cuts For Midd

Casey, Senators Urge Majority Leader to Allow Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to Have Up or Down Vote

Washington, DC – Today, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and fellow Senate Democrats formally called for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor on four policies that garnered significant Republican support when they were considered as non-binding amendments to the Budget resolution only two weeks ago. Specifically, the senators called for up-or-down votes on legislation to protect pregnant workers from discrimination, provide paid sick leave for workers, ensure same sex couples have equal access to federal benefits and enact tax cuts for middle class families.

The letter was signed by the chief Senate democratic sponsors of the legislation: Senators Bob Casey (the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act), Dick Durbin (Working Families Tax Relief Act), Charles E. Schumer (American Opportunity Tax Credit), Patty Murray (Healthy Families Act, Child Care Tax Credit and 21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act), Ron Wyden (Middle Class Tax Cut), Sherrod Brown (Working Families Tax Relief Act), Jeanne Shaheen (Child Care Tax Credit, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Equal Access to Benefits for Same Sex Couples), Al Franken (Healthy Families Act) and Brian Schatz (Equal Access to Benefits for Same Sex Couples).

In the letter, the senators stated that while they strongly oppose the underlying Senate Republican budget and the negative impacts it would have on middle-class and working families, they believe the four amendments represent important policies that deserve a vote in this Congress.

The text of the letter can be found below:

Dear Leader McConnell,

We write today to urge you to work with us to keep the momentum behind a series of non-binding budget resolution amendments moving forward. During budget “vote-a-rama,” a number of Senate Republicans supported Democratic amendments containing common-sense policies that will benefit hardworking Americans instead of special interests. As the sponsors of those amendments, we would like to assure you that we stand ready to work with you to bring real legislation separate from the budget to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

As you know, amendments to the budget that are voted on during vote-a-rama do not have the force of law. However, a bipartisan majority vote on an amendment can be an important mark of whether or not a certain policy can pass the Senate with a 60 vote affirmative threshold. Too often, the budget vote-a-rama is characterized as a partisan exercise that leaves no lasting policy impact. Working with you, we hope to make this Budget vote-a-rama different. While we strongly oppose the underlying Senate Republican budget and the negative impacts it would have on middle-class and working families, we believe the following four amendments represent policies that deserve a vote in this Congress.

  • Paid Sick Leave (passed 61-39) - Amendment No. 798 to improve workplace benefits and reduce health care costs, which may include measures to allow Americans to earn paid sick time to address their own health needs and the health needs of their families, and to promote equal employment opportunities.
  • Ending Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers (passed 100-0) - Amendment No. 632 to increase employment opportunities and prevent employment discrimination, which may include measures to prevent employment discrimination against pregnant workers, to provide pregnant workers with a right to workplace accommodations, and to ensure that employers comply with requirements regarding such workplace accommodations for pregnant workers.
  • Equal Access to Benefits for Same Sex Couples (passed 57-43) - Amendment No. 1063 to ensuring all legally married same-sex spouses have equal access to the Social Security and veterans benefits they have earned and receive equal treatment under the law pursuant to the Constitution of the United States.
  • Middle Class Tax Cuts (passed 73-27) – Amendment No. 968 to enacting middle class tax relief, including extending and expanding refundable tax credits, such as tax provisions and policies included in legislation like the Working Families Tax Relief Act, American Opportunity Tax Credit Permanence and Consolidation Act, Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act, or the 21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act.

We respectfully request that you publicly announce a timetable for the prompt Senate consideration of these policies, which have clear bipartisan support.

Sincerely,

Dick Durbin

United States Senator

Patty Murray

United States Senator

Ron Wyden

United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen

United States Senator

Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

Chuck Schumer

United States Senator

Bob Casey

United States Senator

Brian Schatz

United States Senator

Al Franken

United States Senator

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