Democrats: Ryan Should Hold Vote On Paid Family Leave First Thing As Speaker

Congressman Came Under Fire Following Remarks On Spending Time With Family Last Week

Shawn Johnson/WPR

With just a few days remaining until lawmakers in Congress vote on whether to make Rep. Paul Ryan speaker of the House, Democrats are continuing to target the Janesville Republican on the issue of paid family leave.

Last week, Ryan had said that he wasn’t willing to give up spending time with his family were he to be elected as speaker. Critics quickly pounced on the statement, pointing out that Ryan had voted down legislation for paid parental leave in the past.

Democrats, including a number of politicians and activists who gathered in Racine for a rally on Monday, are now saying that Ryan’s concern for his children means his first act as speaker should be to allow a House vote on a bill requiring employers to grant paid family leave.

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Milwaukee resident Tameka Vuckovich said with no family leave, she had to go back to work five days after the death of her prematurely born daughter. She said she wants to hear from Ryan.

“Paul Ryan, if you can possibly come to me and tell me why your family is more important than mine, and legitimately have a reason for it, I’ll leave you alone,” said Vuckovich.

Until then, Vuckovich wants federal and state action on family leave legislation.

Ryan’s office said the House speaker doesn’t set the floor vote schedule, and that Ryan supported a Working Families Flexibility Act. Some family advocates, however, say that measure was flawed.