- Meghan Markle urged Democratic leaders in a letter Wednesday to support paid family and medical leave.
- The letter comes as Biden’s paid leave plan is at risk of being nixed from the $US3.5 ($AU5) social spending bill.
- “This is about putting families above politics,” Markle wrote in the letter to Pelosi and Schumer.
Meghan Markle is urging Democratic leaders in Congress to support paid family and medical leave.
The Duchess of Sussex wrote to advocate for paid leave in a letter, released on Wednesday, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician,” Markle wrote. “I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent. And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time – as a mom – to advocate for paid leave.”
The letter comes in light of an initial proposal in Biden’s $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion social spending plan to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave, which is at risk of being nixed amid ongoing negotiations to trim the pricetag on the bill.
“I know how politically charged things can – and have – become,” Markle wrote. “But this isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong. This is about putting families above politics. And for a refreshing change, it’s something we all seem to agree on. At a point when everything feels so divisive, let this be a shared goal that unites us.”
The Duchess of Sussex pointed to the “long-existing fault lines in our communities” that were exposed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, noting how parents were dropping out of the workforce “at an alarming rate” to stay home with their kids as daycares and schools were closed.
“The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid,” she wrote in the letter.
Markle added that those “fault lines” – albeit exacerbated by the pandemic – were long-standing struggles for some families.
“For many, this sacrifice goes back further than the past 20 months; it’s 20 or 30 years, even longer – decades of giving time, body, and endless energy not just in the pursuit of the American dream, but the dream of stability.”
She said by making paid leave a right, “we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, and economic strength at the starting line.”
“Instead, as it stands now, we spend a fortune as a country paying into symptoms rather than causes.”