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BPC Applauds Senate Expansion of Paid Leave for New Parents in Armed Services

Washington, DC – Today, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022, which includes a dramatic expansion of paid leave for new parents in the armed services.

The Bipartisan Policy Center applauds Congress for its bipartisan passage of the annual NDAA and for coming together to expand access to paid parental leave. Thanks to the leadership of Reps. Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and others, more parents will be able to spend time bonding with and caring for their new children—time that research has shown again and again to be vital for the health and wellbeing of families.

The FY22 NDAA increases to 12 weeks the amount of leave available to all members of the armed services who have become parents through birth, adoption, or foster care.

Prior to this legislation, primary caregivers in the armed forces received six weeks of leave after a birth or adoption while secondary caregivers only had access to three weeks of leave. New foster parents were not eligible to take paid leave at all.

The NDAA also expanded the federal employee paid leave program to include up to two weeks of bereavement leave following the death of a child. This new leave is available to all federal employees, including service members.