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Yang Vows to Prioritize Paid-Family-Leave Bill: ‘We Should Not Be Forcing Every Parent to Leave the Home’

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang at the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Ga., November 20, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Businessman and Democratic 2020 candidate Andrew Yang said from the debate stage Wednesday night that he plans to pass a paid-family-leave bill if he is elected president.

“There are only two countries in the world that don’t have paid family leave for new parents: the United States and Papua New Guinea,” Yang said at the the fifth Democratic primary debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. “We need to start supporting our kids and families from the beginning.”

“We should not be forcing every parent to leave the home and join the workforce,” Yang added.

Yang’s campaign said passing a family-leave bill would be one of his first moves in office.

Yang has previously said he has realized how “anti-family” and “anti-woman” American society currently is and vowed to adopt policies to better support working families. The lawyer and entrepreneur supports a family leave policy that would ask employers to offer at least nine months of paid family leave distributed between parents as they see fit.

In July, the House passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees federal workers 12 weeks of paid family leave, including for the “birth, adoption or foster placement of a child and care for a spouse, child ,or parent suffering from a serious health condition.

“Our lack of paid family leave for new parents puts us far behind the rest of the developed world,” Yang said in May. “I will catch us up as President. That will be a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2021.”

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