WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) was joined by Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03); Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), DWC co-chair; Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), DWC vice chair; Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), DWC vice chair; Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12); and Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Judy Chu (CA-27), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Sara Jacobs (CA-53), on Friday in issuing the following statement on the critical need for Congress to address the issue of paid leave for American families.

“As women, we have borne the scars of childbirth, nursed our children to health, and tended to our parents and loved ones as they took their final breaths. As women, we have provided care and we have needed care. And as women, we feel this tremendous loss for our country of a potential missed opportunity to provide paid family and medical leave,” said the Members. “At some point, everyone will need paid leave to welcome a new child, care for a loved one, or recover from a personal illness. Yet we continue to ask families – namely women – to fend for themselves and choose between their health or family and a paycheck. We stand by as families face financial ruin or quit their jobs in order to honor their responsibilities. We continue the embarrassment of being the only wealthy nation in the world without any paid leave, even as our European counterparts provide on average 22 weeks. We spread the myth that paid leave is some kind of paid vacation, instead of the fight for one’s life that it often is. We allow one in four women to return to work just two weeks after giving birth, perhaps even before their C-section stitches heal. It’s wrong. It’s unconscionable. Make no mistake – we will never give up the fight for paid family and medical leave.”