Press Release - From the Senate: Congress Passes Dodd-Clinton Amendment to Expand Family and Medical Leave Benefits to Wounded Soldiers and Their Families
Senators urge President Bush to put politics aside and support the recommendations of the Care of Wounded Warriors Commission
Washington, DC - Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) praised Congress for passing their amendment, "The Support for Injured Servicemembers Act," which if signed into law will allow the family of wounded military personnel to take up to 6 months of unpaid leave. The legislation expands the benefits provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which currently allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The Act was passed as an amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and has received broad bipartisan support.
The amendment implements a key recommendation of the Dole-Shalala Commission on the Care for Wounded Warriors. The cosponsors of the bipartisan amendment include Senators Dole, Graham, Mikulski, Chambliss, Brown, Cardin, Menendez, Salazar, Kennedy, Reed, Boxer, Murray, Lieberman, and Roberts. The amendment is also supported by the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the National Military Families Association, and the Military Officers Association of America.
"After the seven years, three presidents, and two vetoes it took to get the Family Medical Leave Act enacted into law, I am pleased to see the FMLA expanded to ensure that our troops and their families will never have to choose between the job they need and the family they love," said Dodd. "I urge the President to put politics aside and sign into law this important bipartisan legislation benefiting our nation's wounded warriors. There should be no greater priority than ensuring the safety and well-being of the brave men and women who serve our country."
"The Family and Medical Leave Act has made it possible for countless Americans to balance the difficult responsibilities of family and work. However, as the Dole-Shalala Commission found, the time permitted under the FMLA has been insufficient to meet the needs of family members who face extraordinary demands in caring for loved ones injured in service to our nation," said Senator Clinton. "We can and we must do what is necessary to improve support for our servicemembers and their families. I call on the president to implement this key recommendation of the Dole-Shalala Commission by signing the Reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program. It is the right thing to do for our men and women in uniform and their families who have made tremendous sacrifices on our behalf."
Senator Dodd is the author of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which has allowed more than 50 million workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they are ill or if they need to care for a sick family member or new child. Dodd recently introduced the Family Leave Insurance Act of 2007, legislation that will provide paid leave to workers for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious illness or to care for their own serious illness. Senator Dodd has been a long-time advocate for the health and safety of U.S. troops. From leading the effort to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the safety equipment they need, to fighting to restore National Guard readiness, Dodd has worked tirelessly on behalf of American servicemen and women.
Senator Clinton has been a champion of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has helped more than 50 million Americans since President Clinton signed it into law in 1993. Senator Clinton has worked to build on this landmark law, cosponsoring the Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Healthy Families Act. She has also introduced legislation to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act to flight attendants and pilots. As New York's first Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Clinton has made it one of her top priorities to ensure that our brave men and women in uniform and their families have the healthcare and support they need, most recently securing a series of measures in the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act approved unanimously by the Senate.
Hillary Clinton, Press Release - From the Senate: Congress Passes Dodd-Clinton Amendment to Expand Family and Medical Leave Benefits to Wounded Soldiers and Their Families Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/296183