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111th Congress                                            Rept. 111-116
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================
 
           FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAID PARENTAL LEAVE ACT OF 2009

                                _______
                                

  May 18, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Towns, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 626]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 626) to provide that 4 of the 12 
weeks of parental leave made available to a Federal employee 
shall be paid leave, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Legislative History..............................................     2
Section-By-Section...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Rollcall Votes...................................................     3
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     3
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     4
Unfunded Mandates Statement......................................     4
Earmark Identification...........................................     4
Committee Estimate...............................................     4
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 626, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 
2009, was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on 
January 22, 2009. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act 
(FEPPLA) would amend section 6382 of title 5, U.S.C., the 
Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) and the Family and 
Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide four weeks of paid parental 
leave to federal and congressional employees for the birth, 
adoption, or placement of a child, out of the twelve weeks of 
unpaid leave that are currently available to employees under 
the Family and Medical Leave Act.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Under existing law, most federal and congressional 
employees are entitled to a total of twelve workweeks of unpaid 
leave during any 12-month period because of the birth or 
adoption of a child. Federal employees must use accrued annual 
leave if they want to receive pay for any of the time that they 
are out on leave. Under some circumstances, accrued sick leave 
may be used to care for the new child, but only if the child is 
ill or if there were complications with the pregnancy or birth. 
Many employees cannot afford to take unpaid leave, and are 
forced to choose between spending more time with their new 
child and maintaining an income to support their family.
    H.R. 626 will help families by providing four weeks of paid 
parental leave to federal and congressional employees. In 
addition to the four weeks, employees will also be allowed to 
use accrued annual or sick leave for parental leave. Unlike 
current law, employees using their sick leave for parental 
leave will not need to demonstrate a medical need for the 
leave. Enactment of this measure will ensure that the federal 
government, as an employer, is providing the type of benefits 
offered to government workers in other industrialized 
countries. This family friendly measure will also have a 
positive impact on our ability to attract and retain a highly 
qualified federal workforce.

                          Legislative History

    Earlier versions of H.R. 626 (H.R. 3158, H.R. 3799, H.R. 
5718 and H.R. 5781) were introduced in previous Congresses. 
H.R. 5781 was introduced and passed in the House of 
Representatives in 2008. H.R. 626 was introduced on January 22, 
2009, and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform, and the Committee on House Administration.
    The Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, 
and the District of Columbia of the Oversight and Government 
Reform Committee held a markup on March 25, 2009, where the 
bill was forwarded to the Full Committee by voice vote. The 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee then held a markup of 
the bill on May 6, 2009. The Committee ordered the bill to be 
reported by voice vote.

                           Section-by-Section


Sec.1. Short title

    The short title of the bill is the Federal Employees Paid 
Parental Leave Act of 2009.

Sec.2. Paid parental leave under Title 5

    This section would amend section 6382 of title 5, U.S.C., 
to provide paid parental leave to most federal employees.
    Under this section, covered employees would be permitted to 
substitute up to four workweeks of paid parental leave for any 
of the unpaid leave currently provided for the birth or 
placement of a child. The Office of Personnel Management would 
be allowed to promulgate regulations to increase the amount of 
paid parental leave to 8 administrative workweeks. OPM would 
have to analyze the benefits and costs to the federal 
government and trends in the private sector before doing so.

Sec.3. Paid parental leave for Congressional employees

    Section 3 would amend section 202 of the Congressional 
Accountability Act to provide paid parental leave to 
congressional employees.

Sec. 4. Conforming amendment to Family and Medical Leave Act for GAO 
        and Library of Congress employees

    This section amends the FMLA to make paid parental leave 
benefits available to Government Accountability Office (GAO) 
and Library of Congress employees, who are not otherwise 
covered by 5 U.S.C. 6382 and section 202 of the CAA.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments to H.R. 626 were offered or adopted in 
Committee.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Wednesday, May 6, 2009, the Committee met in open 
session and favorably ordered H.R. 626 to be reported to the 
House by a voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    No rollcall votes were taken.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations.
    Sections 3 and 4 of H.R. 626 would apply to congressional 
and legislative branch employees by providing paid parental 
leave to the aforementioned employees.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of Rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report, including the need to provide federal and 
congressional employees with paid parental leave for the birth 
or adoption of a child.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report, including the requirement that executive and 
legislative branch agencies and congressional offices provide 
employees with paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of 
a child.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Under clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee must include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to Congress to enact the law 
proposed by H.R. 626. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants the Congress the power 
to enact this law.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                      Unfunded Mandates Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement on 
whether the provisions of the report include unfunded mandates. 
In compliance with this requirement the Committee has received 
a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 626 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 626. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides that 
this requirement does not apply when the Committee has included 
in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 626 from the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 11, 2009.
Hon. Edolphus Towns,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 626, the Federal 
Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Barry Blom.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 626--Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009

    Summary: H.R. 626 would amend title 5 of the United States 
Code, the Congressional Accountability Act, and the Family and 
Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) by creating a new category of 
leave under FMLA. This new category would provide four weeks of 
paid leave to federal employees following the birth, adoption, 
or fostering of a child. In addition, the legislation permits 
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to increase the amount 
of paid leave provided to a total of eight weeks based on the 
consideration of several factors such as the cost to the 
federal government and enhanced recruitment and retention of 
employees.
    Under current law, federal employees who have completed at 
least 12 months of service are entitled to up to 12 weeks of 
leave without pay after the birth, adoption, or fostering of a 
child. Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be 
returned to the same position or to an ``equivalent position 
with equivalent benefits, pay, status, and other terms and 
conditions of employment.'' Employees may get paid during that 
12-week period by using any annual or sick leave that they have 
accrued. The leave provided by this bill would be available 
only within the 12-week FMLA leave period.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 626 would cost $67 
million in 2010 and a total of $938 million over the 2010-2014 
period, subject to appropriation of the necessary funds. 
Enacting H.R. 626 would not affect direct spending or receipts.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 626 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation would fall in all budget 
functions (except functions 900 and 950).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2010     2011     2012     2013     2014   2010-2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...........................       69      215      219      221      224       947
Estimated Outlays.......................................       67      209      218      221      223       938
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
626 will be enacted by October 1, 2009, and that the necessary 
amounts for implementing it will be appropriated each year. 
Under the legislation, the new category of leave would become 
available six months after enactment (that is, around April 
2010). As a result, the cost of the legislation in 2010 
reflects implementation for only half of the year. After 2010, 
CBO has included in its estimate a 50 percent probability that 
OPM will use its authority to increase the amount of paid leave 
available from four weeks to eight weeks. Costs in future years 
are projected to grow with inflation.
    CBO assumes that the potential users of the new leave would 
be primarily the roughly 700,000 civilian employees who are 
between the ages of 20 and 44 and have been employed at least 
12 months. (This figure excludes employees of the Postal 
Service because H.R. 626 amends title 5 of the United States 
Code, which does not apply to them.)
    Estimating an adoption rate based on data from the 
Department of Health and Human Services and applying birth rate 
information for the relevant age cohorts from the National 
Center on Health Statistics to the roughly 313,000 women 
eligible for the new leave yields about 17,800 women who might 
give birth or adopt in a given year. Based on average salary 
information from OPM, CBO estimates that four weeks of paid 
leave--the maximum amount guaranteed by the bill--for female 
employees would cost between $2,800 (for those in the youngest 
age cohort) and $5,400 (for those in the 40-44 age cohort). 
Assuming that nearly all of those women took the maximum amount 
of leave, CBO estimates the cost of the leave to be $77 million 
this year (if it were available for the entire 12-month 
period).
    Applying those same calculations to the 390,000 men in the 
affected age groups, CBO estimates that roughly 24,000 men 
would be eligible for the four weeks of paid leave, at an 
average cost of between $3,100 and $6,000 per male employee. 
Assuming that eligible men would take the leave at about one-
half the rate of women, CBO estimates that men would use 
another $54 million worth of leave this year (if it were 
available for the entire 12-month period), bringing the total 
to $130 million.
    Since CBO assumes that the new leave would not be available 
until half-way through fiscal year 2010, there would be no 
costs for 2009 and the 2010 costs would represent only six 
months of the year, totaling $67 million. Beyond 2010, CBO 
assumes a full year of availability and has included a 50 
percent probability that OPM would increase the amount of paid 
leave available to employees. As a result, anticipated costs 
increase to $209 million in 2011. (The 2011 costs would be 
about $140 billion if the benefit were kept at a maximum of 
four weeks.)
    The effects of this bill on the budget derive from the 
provision of a new form of paid leave. To the extent that such 
a new benefit enables people to take advantage of paid leave 
rather than taking leave without pay, the costs are clear. 
However, employees who would currently use annual or sick leave 
upon the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child may choose to 
use this new form of paid leave and save their accrued leave 
for a later date. CBO has no basis for estimating the magnitude 
of such substitution, but the deferral of annual and sick leave 
also represents a cost either in terms of increased 
availability of paid leave or cash payments upon separation.
    In addition, providing a more generous benefit to employees 
may enhance the federal government's ability to retain 
employees after the birth or adoption of a child and thereby 
lower recruitment and training costs. CBO estimates that such 
potential savings are likely to be relatively small over the 
next five years.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 626 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Barry Blom; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Elizabeth Cove Delisle; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART E--ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 63--LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER V--FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 6382. Leave requirement

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d)] (1) An employee may elect to substitute for leave under 
[subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or] subparagraph (C) or (D) of 
subsection (a)(1) any of the employee's accrued or accumulated 
annual or sick leave under subchapter I for any part of the 12-
week period of leave under such subsection, except that nothing 
in this subchapter shall require an employing agency to provide 
paid sick leave in any situation in which such employing agency 
would not normally provide any such paid leave. An employee may 
elect to substitute for leave under subsection (a)(3) any of 
the employee's accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave 
under subchapter I for any part of the 26-week period of leave 
under such subsection.
  (2) An employee may elect to substitute for any leave without 
pay under subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (a)(1) any paid 
leave which is available to such employee for that purpose.
  (3) The paid leave that is available to an employee for 
purposes of paragraph (2) is--
          (A) subject to paragraph (6), 4 administrative 
        workweeks of paid parental leave under this 
        subparagraph in connection with the birth or placement 
        involved; and
          (B) any annual or sick leave accrued or accumulated 
        by such employee under subchapter I.
  (4) Nothing in this subsection shall be considered to require 
that an employee first use all or any portion of the leave 
described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) before being 
allowed to use the paid parental leave described in 
subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3).
  (5) Paid parental leave under paragraph (3)(A)--
          (A) shall be payable from any appropriation or fund 
        available for salaries or expenses for positions within 
        the employing agency;
          (B) shall not be considered to be annual or vacation 
        leave for purposes of section 5551 or 5552 or for any 
        other purpose; and
          (C) if not used by the employee before the end of the 
        12-month period (as referred to in subsection (a)(1)) 
        to which it relates, shall not accumulate for any 
        subsequent use.
  (6) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management--
          (A) may promulgate regulations to increase the amount 
        of paid parental leave available to an employee under 
        paragraph (3)(A), to a total of not more than 8 
        administrative workweeks, based on the consideration 
        of--
                  (i) the benefits provided to the Federal 
                Government of offering increased paid parental 
                leave, including enhanced recruitment and 
                retention of employees;
                  (ii) the cost to the Federal Government of 
                increasing the amount of paid parental leave 
                that is available to employees;
                  (iii) trends in the private sector and in 
                State and local governments with respect to 
                offering paid parental leave;
                  (iv) the Federal Government's role as a model 
                employer; and
                  (v) such other factors as the Director 
                considers necessary; and
          (B) shall prescribe any regulations necessary to 
        carry out this subsection, including, subject to 
        paragraph (4), the manner in which an employee may 
        designate any day or other period as to which such 
        employee wishes to use paid parental leave described in 
        paragraph (3)(A).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


      SECTION 202 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1995

SEC. 202. RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS UNDER THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT 
                    OF 1993.

  (a) Family and Medical Leave Rights and Protections 
Provided.--
          (1) In general.--The rights and protections 
        established by sections 101 through 105 of the Family 
        and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611 through 
        2615) shall apply to covered employees. In applying 
        section 102(a)(1)(A) and (B) of such Act to covered 
        employees, subsection (d) shall apply.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Special Rule for Paid Parental Leave for Congressional 
Employees.--
          (1) Substitution of paid leave.--A covered employee 
        taking leave without pay under subparagraph (A) or (B) 
        of section 102(a)(1) of the Family and Medical Leave 
        Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2612(a)(1)) may elect to 
        substitute for any such leave any paid leave which is 
        available to such employee for that purpose.
          (2) Amount of paid leave.--The paid leave that is 
        available to a covered employee for purposes of 
        paragraph (1) is--
                  (A) the number of weeks of paid parental 
                leave in connection with the birth or placement 
                involved that correspond to the number of 
                administrative workweeks of paid parental leave 
                available to Federal employees under section 
                6382(d)(3)(A) of title 5, United States Code; 
                and
                  (B) any additional paid vacation or sick 
                leave provided by the employing office to such 
                employee.
          (3) Limitation.--Nothing in this subsection shall be 
        considered to require that an employee first use all or 
        any portion of the leave described in subparagraph (B) 
        of paragraph (2) before being allowed to use the paid 
        parental leave described in subparagraph (A) of 
        paragraph (2).
          (4) Additional rules.--Paid parental leave under 
        paragraph (2)(A)--
                  (A) shall be payable from any appropriation 
                or fund available for salaries or expenses for 
                positions within the employing office; and
                  (B) if not used by the covered employee 
                before the end of the 12-month period (as 
                referred to in section 102(a)(1) of the Family 
                and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 
                2612(a)(1))) to which it relates, shall not 
                accumulate for any subsequent use.
  [(d)] (e) Regulations.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(e)] (f) Effective Date.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


        SECTION 102 OF THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT OF 1993

SEC. 102. LEAVE REQUIREMENT.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Relationship to Paid Leave.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Special rule for gao and library of congress 
        employees.--
                  (A) Substitution of paid leave.--An employee 
                of an employer described in section 
                101(4)(A)(iv) taking leave under subparagraph 
                (A) or (B) of subsection (a)(1) may elect to 
                substitute for any such leave any paid leave 
                which is available to such employee for that 
                purpose.
                  (B) Amount of paid leave.--The paid leave 
                that is available to an employee of an employer 
                described in section 101(4)(A)(iv) for purposes 
                of subparagraph (A) is--
                          (i) the number of weeks of paid 
                        parental leave in connection with the 
                        birth or placement involved that 
                        correspond to the number of 
                        administrative workweeks of paid 
                        parental leave available to Federal 
                        employees under section 6382(d)(3)(A) 
                        of title 5, United States Code; and
                          (ii) any additional paid vacation or 
                        sick leave provided by such employer.
                  (C) Limitation.--Nothing in this paragraph 
                shall be considered to require that an employee 
                first use all or any portion of the leave 
                described in clause (ii) of subparagraph (B) 
                before being allowed to use the paid parental 
                leave described in clause (i) of such 
                subparagraph.
                  (D) Additional rules.--Paid parental leave 
                under subparagraph (B)(i)--
                          (i) shall be payable from any 
                        appropriation or fund available for 
                        salaries or expenses for positions with 
                        the employer described in section 
                        101(4)(A)(iv); and
                          (ii) if not used by the employee of 
                        such employer before the end of the 12-
                        month period (as referred to in 
                        subsection (a)(1)) to which it relates, 
                        shall not accumulate for any subsequent 
                        use.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing 
H.R. 626, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 
2009, will cost taxpayers $938 million over the next five 
years. H.R. 626 sends the wrong message at the wrong time to 
working American taxpayers and families that are struggling in 
a difficult economy.
    I fully recognize and appreciate that, like their private 
sector counterparts, most federal employees work hard and 
deserve competitive compensation and benefits packages. But in 
these perilous economic times, it is inappropriate for us to 
heap even more generous benefits on federal employees, at 
further taxpayer expense, while their private sector 
counterparts are struggling.
    Americans in the private sector are losing their jobs at a 
rate unseen since the Great Depression. The Bureau of Labor 
Statistics just reported that Metropolitan unemployment rates 
were higher in March 2009 than March 2008 in every Metropolitan 
area across the nation. Eighteen Metropolitan areas recorded 
jobless rates of at least 15%. The national unemployment rate 
is currently at 9%, a 5.2% percent increase over 2008.
    Private sector workers arrive at work every morning scared 
that they might be losing their job completely, if they haven't 
already. If not facing job loss, they are certainly facing the 
real possibility of slashed benefits. At the same time, federal 
employees enjoy one of the highest levels of job security of 
any sector in the nation along with generous benefits packages.
    According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the rate of 
layoffs and discharges (turnover) in the federal workforce was 
a decade low of 3.9%. The private sector workforce has not been 
so lucky, with a 2008 turnover rate of 20.2%. In fact, since 
June 2008 the private sector has shed roughly 4.4 million jobs 
while the federal government workforce has grown by 37,000 
employees during the same period.
    Moreover, the Office of Personnel Management has determined 
that federal and private sector leave policies compare 
favorably and the additional benefits of this bill would not be 
a major factor in enhancing recruitment and retention.
    Currently, federal government leave policies and programs 
already provide employees with paid parental leave through the 
sick and annual leave system. Federal employees enjoy a 
benefits package that includes: annual leave, sick leave that 
has unlimited accrual, paid holidays, a guaranteed government 
pension and a matching 401K style retirement account.
    Federal employees with 3-15 years of service accrue four 
weeks of annual leave per year, those with more than 20 years 
of service accrue five weeks of annual leave, and all full time 
employees accrue 13 days of sick leave per year. Furthermore, 
federal employees also enjoy 11 paid holidays, which means 
federal employees generally enjoy seven or eight weeks off of 
work while those in the private sector get significantly fewer.
    Federal employees also receive generous retirement 
benefits. Retiring federal employees take advantage of one of 
the only remaining retirement plans that include a guaranteed 
pension. In addition to the pension, the federal government 
pays into an employee's 401K style account. This is all in 
addition to job security that is second to none.
    When it comes to the issue of parental leave, the birth 
mother may use accrued sick leave (which has no accrual limit) 
for medical appointments and/or hospitalization and the period 
of incapacitation following delivery. The birth father may use 
up to 12 weeks accrued sick leave each year to accompany the 
mother to prenatal appointments, to be with her during the 
period of hospitalization, and/or care for her during her 
approximate six week recovery period. Beyond that, if the 
mother and father exhaust their sick leave they are free to use 
their accrued annual leave (30 days may be accrued by federal 
employees stationed within the United States and 90 days may be 
accrued by members of the senior executive service, senior-
level, scientific and professional employees) for any purpose, 
including pregnancy and child birth. Additionally, if the 
mother or father is a new employee the agency may advance 
mother and father up to 30 days of annual and/or sick leave for 
purposes related to childbirth. After the mother and/or father 
have exhausted their sick and annual leave they may receive 
donated annual leave from the employing agency's leave bank 
program. Finally, each parent is entitled to 12 weeks of leave 
without pay under FMLA.
    This bill is being considered during a time when the 
federal government should be acting with greater fiscal 
responsibility. In fact, President Obama has made concerted 
efforts to emphasize fiscal discipline. According to the New 
York Times, the President has said that the government must act 
``the same way any responsible family does in setting its 
budget . . .'' He has challenged his entire cabinet to cut $100 
million from their federal budgets, which, according to the 
CBO, is approximately 1/10th of the $938 million cost of this 
one piece of legislation.
    This legislation is the forerunner to H.R. 1723, the Family 
Leave Insurance Act of 2009, which has been introduced in the 
111th Congress and has been referred to the Ways and Means 
Committee. This companion legislation will create yet another 
burden on the nation's struggling private sector, and will hit 
small businesses especially hard. H.R. 1723 creates a Family 
Medical Leave Insurance Fund that will provide up to 12 weeks 
of paid medical leave for all employees through an insurance 
fund administered by the federal government. This fund would be 
``self-financing'' and be created by premiums paid by employer 
and employee. Thus, during this time of economic hardship for 
the private sector, through these two bills, Congress is both 
gold-plating already generous federal employee benefits and 
creating yet another financial burden for the private sector.
    Taxpayers are reaching the breaking point when it comes to 
subsidizing higher federal spending at their expense. 
Responsible American families are cutting costs and dealing 
with job loss and the destruction of their savings and 
retirement accounts. It is simply not the right time to ask 
taxpayers to pay for a new benefit for federal employees.
                                                      Darnell Issa.