Democrats are expected to drop paid family and medical leave from their social safety net bill, several people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The party needs all senators on board to pass the bill, and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has objected to guaranteed paid leave. Many Democratic lawmakers considered this a top priority, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that "until the bill is printed, I will continue working to include paid leave in the Build Back Better plan."
The United States is one of only eight countries without national paid maternity leave, and President Biden initially proposed the bill include 12 weeks, which was then cut down to four weeks amid early negotiations.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that it's important for people to understand that "from the beginning, we have said the president was open to compromise. He has said that. He knew, and he knows from legislating for 36 years, you're never going to get every single thing you want in a package. We know that."