Every Republican Running for President Votes Against Paid Sick Leave; It Passes Anyway
Not every budget vote in Thursday's Senate marathon is particularly telling. The vote on SA 798, one of Washington Senator Patty Murray's amendments, is an exception. Titled the Deficit-Neutral Reserve Fund for Legislation to Allow Americans to Earn Paid Sick Time, Murray's amendment would devote funds "relating to efforts to improve workplace benefits and reduce health care costs, which may include measures to allow Americans to earn paid sick time to address their own health needs and the health needs of their families, and to promote equal employment opportunities."
The amendment retooled the Healthy Families Act, a bill that faces a steep hill in a Republican Congress. Yet unlike most of the Democrat's amendments this one was agreed to, picking up every member of Murray's party and 16 Republicans. From the Republican side: New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, Arizona Senator John McCain, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, and Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey.
All are up for re-election in 2016; Ayotte, Kirk, Portman, and Toomey are up in states that voted twice for President Barack Obama. Of Republicans up in 2010, the senators from reliable red states were “no” votes, including Arkansas Senator John Boozman, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, and Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Of the senators being challenged by Democrats, only Missouri Senator Roy Blunt voted against the amendment.
Also singing in the Republican "no" chorus: All of the senators considering 2016 presidential bids. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio all opposed the Murray amendment.
Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination, came out last year for paid family leave.
UPDATE: This article initially noted that Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson voted against Murray's amendment. He switched his vote.
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