Chairwoman Maloney Remarks at Press Conference on Inclusion of Paid Parental Leave in NDAA

Dec 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC (Dec. 10, 2019)—Below is Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at today’s press conference with House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and labor leaders to discuss the paid parental leave provision in the final conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.  

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Press Conference on FY20 NDAA and Paid Parental Leave
December 10, 2019

Good afternoon, and thank you.  Today is a cause for celebration! 

For far too long, the United States has been behind the times.  We have been one of only two countries in the world that does not offer any form of paid parental leave.  But we are finally going to change that.

When we pass this National Defense Authorization Act, we will no longer be part of that infamous group.

I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, our esteemed Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith.

Mr. Chairman, without your support and relentless pursuit of this policy, we simply would not be here today. 

I will be forever grateful for your extraordinary leadership in making paid parental leave for 2.1 million federal employees a priority and a reality.

I would also like to thank my dear friend and colleague, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania for her partnership in this effort.

And, of course, I must thank the incredible coalition of groups who have been tireless advocates throughout this process.  You all made this possible.

Can you believe that it has taken us 20 years to get here? 

Since I introduced paid parental leave for federal employees, it has become part of the national conversation. 

Bipartisan support for this policy skyrocketed, and we could no longer be ignored. 

This morning, I chaired my first hearing as the permanent chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform on this very issue—and the need to guarantee comprehensive paid family and medical leave for every American worker, not just federal employees. 

Advocates and parents agreed this is not just a moral thing to do, but it is smart policy.  The federal government will be able to compete with the private sector for the next generation of top talent to serve the American people.

Federal employees dedicate their lives in service to our country, and it is time we do more to recognize all that they do for us.  This policy is a profound first step in that direction.

This agreement is not perfect, but it’s an extraordinary start. 

As I said at our hearing, I believe with all my heart that we need a comprehensive policy that supports not only mothers and fathers with newborns, but also the father in crisis who is caring for his two-year-old daughter with cancer and the dedicated husband who is helping his wife recover from her stroke.

We will continue fighting for these Americans in the years to come.

I urge all my colleagues to support this historic NDAA!  Thank you.


116th Congress