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Obama, McCaskill Fight for Military Family Job Protection

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Provision would provide up to one year of protected leave to care for wounded relatives

U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) today applauded the inclusion of a provision they authored to provide job protection for military family members who are caring for wounded loved ones in the compromise Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill. The Obama-McCaskill provision would provide a family member who is caring for a recovering servicemember wounded in combat with one year of protected leave.

The Military Family Job Protection Act (S. 1885), introduced by Senators Obama and McCaskill, passed as an amendment to the CHIP reauthorization bill in August. They originally offered this proposal in February with 33 bipartisan cosponsors as part of a comprehensive measure to address problems at military hospitals such as the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

"The best way to honor the courage and sacrifice of our service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is to ensure they receive the quality health care they deserve," said Senator Obama. "When America's sons and daughters are injured overseas and return home to begin their recovery, their families should not be forced to choose between caring for a wounded family member and keeping their jobs. Congress must do more for our service members and their families, and providing them this safety net is the least we can do."

"This is about doing the right thing for the men and women who have come home with injuries after bravely serving abroad. The family members who are called away from home to care for them shouldn't have to risk losing their jobs to do it," said Senator McCaskill. "The sacrifices made by our military service men and women and their families should be rewarded, not punished."

Both the House and Senate are expected to pass the CHIP bill later this week.

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