As a single working mom, Congresswoman Porter understands the challenges of balancing work and family—and recognizes that enabling parents to fully participate in the workforce creates a globally competitive economy that benefits all of us.
Congresswoman Porter consistently affirms that strong family policy is strong economic policy. Knowing that child care is essential for parents to be able to go to work, she has fought to bring down the cost of care for families. One of the first bills that Congresswoman Porter introduced, the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, would more than double the amount of money families can set aside pre-tax to pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult care.
Congresswoman Porter led more than 100 colleagues in a letter calling upon House leadership to take up legislation to invest in child care to boost our economy. She backs the Child Care is Infrastructure Act, which would provide communities with the resources they need to expand child care facilities and hire more workers.
Congresswoman Porter knows that family leave is key for retaining parents in our workforce, instead of forcing them to drop out to care for their families. To help new parents and caregivers stay in the economy, she has been a champion of legislation to create a universal paid parental and medical leave program. She also introduced the bipartisan FAIR Leave Act, which closes a loophole in federal family leave policy limiting how much leave married couples can take. Her legislation would enable eligible spouses working for the same employer to each take up to 12 work weeks (24 total) of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for the birth of a newborn, the adoption of a child, or caring for the care of a parent with a serious health condition—just as spouses working for different employers can take.
Having started at several jobs while pregnant, Congresswoman Porter understands the unique challenges facing pregnant workers. She proudly voted for the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to help pregnant workers get the accommodations they need in the workplace. While the law currently states that pregnancy accommodations should be treated equally to those for disabilities, this bill clears up outstanding legal questions to help employers comply with the law and protect pregnant workers.
Having experienced the challenges of being a new mom, Congresswoman Porter secured federal support for a maternal mental health hotline to help struggling mothers in crisis. She also introduced bipartisan legislation to protect new parents from surprise medical bills by simplifying the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage.Alarmed by reports that the pandemic is forcing women—and especially women of color—out of the workforce, Congresswoman Porter’s office produced a comprehensive report on the economic burden of the coronavirus pandemic on women. She pushed to remove a single parent penalty from the COVID relief bill, so that single parents are treated the same as married parents. Four out of 5 single parents are women.