Hypocrisy Alert! Family Time Vs. Paid Family Leave

By: Meredith Kelly

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When Paul Ryan announced that his becoming Speaker would be contingent on his ability to carve out time with his young children, parents across the country had a glimmer of hope that the new Speaker would become an ally in the fight for paid family leave. Instead, the Speaker doubled-down on his longtime opposition to paid family leave and paid sick leave policies, maintaining that while he deserves the flexibility to balance his family commitments and work demands, that does not correspond to his “public policy position” and the needs of hardworking parents across the country. 


Headline: Politico: “Paul Ryan prizes family time, opposes family leave.” [Politico, 10/21/15]

Headline: TIME: “Paul Ryan’s Demand for Time With Family Prompts Hypocrisy Charges.” [TIME, 10/21/15]

Ryan Made Speakership Run Contingent On Maintaining Family Time After Opposing Virtually Every Bill To Ensure Paid Family Leave. “One of Paul Ryan’s conditions for becoming speaker is that he be able to spend time with his family. But when it comes to federal policies on family leave, Ryan has opposed virtually every measure proposed over the past several years.” [Politico, 10/21/15]

Ryan Voted Against Bipartisan Bill Providing Paid Family Leave For Federal Employees. [Politico, 10/21/15]

Ryan Declined To Support Legislation To Guarantee Paid Sick Leave, Including Leave To Take Care Of A Sick Child. [Politico, 10/21/15]

Ryan Refused To Take Up Legislation To Establish National Paid Family And Medical Leave Insurance Program. [Politico, 10/21/15]

Ryan Budget Eliminated Child-Care Subsidies For Low-Income Families. [TIME, 10/21/15]

Headline: CNN: “House Speaker Paul Ryan against expanding paid family leave.” [CNN, 11/1/15]

Ryan Rejected Calls For Expanded Paid Family Leave, Dismissed Policy As “Some New Unfunded Mandate.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back Sunday, November 1st against calls to expand paid family leave despite his own desire for a work-family balance in his new job. ‘I don’t think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family … I don’t think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate,’ Ryan told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union.’” [CNN, 11/1/15]

Southeast Wisconsin Residents Implored Ryan To Support Family Leave Legislation. “The news conference featured speeches from area workers who talked about how a lack of laws requiring paid family leave have affected them. Angie Aker, 36, of Kenosha, said a lack of sufficient paid family leave forced her to choose between staying by her daughter’s hospital bed years ago or going back to work so she didn’t lose the income that helped her pay for her daughter’s medical care. ‘I worked for a corporation that didn’t allow for enough paid family leave for me to handle my daughter’s chronic illness,’ said Aker, who said she now works from home. Tomika Vukovic, 43, of Glendale, said she was forced to return to work just days after losing her second child, who was born premature. Her daughter died 10 years ago, but not having time to cope with the loss still affects her family today, she said.” [Racine Journal Times, 10/26/15]