2016 Democratic Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) applauded President Barack Obama for signing an executive order that means federal workers/contractors will get paid sick leave and new Department of Labor rules that give those workers and contractors new tools to demand equal pay.
“The president’s executive order on paid sick leave is exactly the right thing to do,” the Independent Senator wrote in a statement.
Sanders called on Congress to act to match President Obama’s executive order for federal workers, “Now that paid sick leave has been extended to hundreds of thousands of Americans who work for federal contractors, Congress has got to extend these rights to all workers.”
Senator Sanders called out the truth, saying it’s an international embarrassment that we do not guarantee paid leave to workers, “We have got to end the international embarrassment of the U.S. being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee paid leave to workers.”
Championing a cause that the Democratic Party and other presidential nominees are also calling for, Sanders pushed for paid family and medical leave and at least two weeks vacation, “Not only do workers need paid sick leave, they also need at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave and at least two weeks of paid vacation. In the richest country on earth, no one should force mothers to go back to work days or weeks after giving birth.”
Senator Sanders once again isn’t going to feed the hungry media the Democratic fight they’ve been hunting for. He has backed Obama in the past when he agreed with the President and he will do it again. He’s not going to “distance” himself from the President, as the media has been hysterically instructing Democrats to do for the past seven years. Sanders also saw the mistake most Democrats made in 2014 midterms of running away from the President.
It turns out, the President’s policies are actually very mainstream and popular, even if they are liberal in their ideology. The Republicans warned that President Obama was a super liberal who was going to “fundamentally change America”, and he has already used his “lame duck” (LOL) period to prove them right, much to the pleasure of many in his party.
Workers of the country should be asking Congressional Republicans what is so wrong with allowing people to have a few days of paid sick leave. Why is this something they criticize, when they spent fewer days at work last year than President Obama spent on vacation in his entire presidency and in the Senate, had nearly as many days off in a year as President Obama has taken in his entire two terms of office.
The fastest rising presidential candidate in either party is standing with a President who has unprecedented second term momentum in a push to expand rights for workers.
This has not only been a great day for Sanders, Obama, and their Democratic allies. It is a Labor Day that represents the changing tide in favor of America’s workers.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.