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Senators Hassan, Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Parental Leave Eligibility for Reserve and National Guard Members

Bill Builds on Recent Expansion of Parental Leave for Active Duty Service Members, Expanding National Guard and Reserve Parental Leave

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Reserve Component Parental Leave Parity Act, a bipartisan bill that would expand parental leave eligibility for Reserve and National Guard members to cover all new parents. In a recent annual defense bill, Congress successfully expanded parental leave eligibility for service members serving on active duty orders, but not for drilling members of the Reserves and National Guard.

Currently, for members of the Reserves and National Guard, only birth mothers can receive parental leave benefits, leaving out spouses and parents of adoptive or foster children. This bill would ensure that all parents welcoming a child into their lives are able to take parental leave.

“Parental leave should be available to all new parents, and service members in the Reserves and the National Guard should have the same access to parental leave as those serving on active duty. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and help to ensure that all service members are given the opportunity to bond with their children,” said Senator Hassan.

“There are significant inequities in the current law surrounding parental leave eligibility for drilling Reserve and National Guard members. Our legislation provides a common-sense solution,” said Senator Murkowski. “The Reserve Component Parental Leave Parity Act creates greater fairness among military parents, but it also allows military parents - many who already sacrifice time with their loved ones in service to our country- to have the opportunity to create a strong bond with their child. That’s something every new parent deserves.”

This bipartisan bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing work to support service members, veterans, and their families. Senator Hassan helped develop and pass into law the PACT Act, which fundamentally reforms and improves how veterans exposed to toxic substances receive health care and benefits from the VA. Senator Hassan also helped pass into law comprehensive, bipartisan retirement security legislation, including provisions she authored with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), to help military families save for retirement. Recently, Senator Hassan introduced the Military Spouse Hiring Act to help boost hiring of military spouses.