Is this good news for working families and their children? Definitely.

Is this happening now because there is an election in 20 months? Probably.

Does the law stand any chance — any chance at all — of passing both houses of Congress?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, a group of 60,000 pediatricians, and the Pediatric Policy Council, a group of pediatric academic organizations, on Friday called on Congress to pass the FAMILY Act, which was introduced earlier this week.
The bill, which has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would provide for 12 weeks of leave for people who are sick or are caring for a child.

“Both scientific research and our clinical experience tell us that children need their parents at critical times in their lives, whether in the important weeks following birth or when recovering from serious illness,” Dr. Mark Schuster, president of the Academic Pediatric Association, said in a statement.

“Too many parents simply can’t afford to lose wages to care for their children’s health. The FAMILY Act offers a potential solution to a vast problem.”

The bill would be funded by employee and employer contributions of two-tenths of 1 percent of wages each. Gillibrand’s office says that would make the program self-sufficient, with no impact on the federal deficit.