A: I’m a glass-full person and, yes, there are some challenges. But the [Family and Medical Leave Act] was passed 30 years ago, and, in fact, the idea for FMLA was to start the conversation about paid family leave. But here we are, 30 years later, without an actual paid family leave policy.
Yes, payment can be a big hurdle to overcome, but I think Chrissy and I both know there are ways to do it without significant financial impact. Sixty-three percent of families with children have parents who work outside the home; these are the conversations we need to have.
Q: You are the chairwoman of [House Administration] Subcommittee on Modernization. What is your agenda this year? The House Select Committee on Modernization of Congress presented several proposals that have not yet been implemented.
A: The recommendations put together by the select committee – there are over 200 of them. … The challenge for me is, I haven’t sat on the select committee for the last four years. So, part of the last month as the chairman of the subcommittee has been asking a lot of questions, doing a lot of reading on past Congresses and what they’ve focused on, and then figuring out where the priorities are now.
There are a few things that are important for today’s conference – like a committee deconfliction tool, which will allow leadership and committee staff to know how many committee hearings are happening in a morning or afternoon so members can try to attend as many of those as possible. We’re also looking at things like a block schedule, so that each committee has a set time each day, each week that they have the ability to meet, whether it’s a full committee or a subcommittee. This is especially important to me, given the fact that I have four full committees and six subcommittees.