Family and Medical Leave Absence

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 19, 2008 3:01pm

One notable absence in the 11,000 pages of the former First Lady’s schedule from the National Archives released today  — any mention on her schedules of the Family and Medical Leave Act before her husband signed the bill into law.

That’s interesting, because in speeches and on her website, the Clinton campaign repeatedly gives Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, credit for "helping to pass" the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The bill was signed into law on February 5, 1993 — 16 days after Bill Clinton was sworn into office.

Though then-Gov. Bill Clinton often heralded the bill, which former President George HW Bush had vetoed, on the campaign trail in 1992, there’s really no evidence that Hillary Clinton "helped to pass" the bill, which was the baby of Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn, and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

Asked for substantiation for her claiming credit, the Clinton campaign provided little evidence except for feminist organizations praising her for the bill becoming law and Bill Clinton writing in his autobiography: "Hillary and I talked often about how fortunate we were to have had that critical time to bond with Chelsea. Hillary told me that most other advanced countries provided paid parental leave to all citizens, and we believed that other parents should have the same priceless opportunity we’d had. I thought about those first few moths with Chelsea in February 1993, when I signed my first bill into law as President, the Family and Medical Leave Act."

Odd.

- jpt

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