In a Senate floor speech, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called out Republican family values hypocrites while discussing the package of three bills that the HELP Committee that he chairs will be marking up.
Sen. Sanders said:
You know, we hear a lot of talk in this town about “family values.”
So, let me be clear: When a wife is diagnosed with cancer and a husband cannot get time off of work to take care of her that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.
When a working mom is forced to send her sick child to school because she cannot afford to stay home with her that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.
Let’s be clear: The United States is the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee a single day of paid sick days.
In Germany, workers are entitled to a total of six weeks of sick days at 100% of their salary.
In France, workers are entitled to a total of 90 days of paid sick leave at 50 percent of their salary.
In Denmark, workers are entitled to at least 30 days of paid sick leave capped at about $638 a week.
In Canada, workers are entitled to 10 paid sick days at 100% of their salary and are eligible to receive 26 weeks of paid sick benefits at up to 55% of their salary.
In the United States, workers are entitled to receive a total of ZERO paid sick days.
That has got to change.
Last place is no place for the United States of America.
It is time for the United States of America to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee at least 7 paid sick days to every worker in America.
At a time of record-breaking corporate profits and exorbitant CEO pay, the idea that the richest country in the history of the world cannot guarantee paid leave for its workers is a national disgrace.
Real American Family Values Means Progress For Workers
If the Republican Party really valued families, they would support legislation that would help families be together more. Better wages, paid leave, and the right to organize are all policies that help families. No family has had a sick family member helped by trans kids not being allowed to play sports. Cancer doesn’t care about what books are in the school library.
What Republicans try to pass off as family values are culture war gimmicks intended to inspire division and outrage. A family can’t be strong if one or both parents have to work multiple jobs to keep lights on and food on the table.
Republicans are always trying to turn back the clock to a time in US history that they viewed as better, but they never talk about going back to the days when unions were strong, and people didn’t need to work 60 or 80 hours a week to be strong.
When Republicans oppose the legislation that the HELP Committee is marking up, what they are really opposing is strong American families.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association