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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman for his leadership in bringing this bill forward, as well as the bill's sponsor, the gentlelady from Alabama, a working mom whose inspiration is her kids at home and her husband that she is responsible for and with in order to make life work for them in Alabama. So I want to appreciate her leadership.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the bill, the Working Families Flexibility Act. If you are a working parent in this country, you know from experience that there's hardly ever enough time to spend with your family.
Recently, I spoke with a constituent from Richmond. Her name is Nicole Lambert. She's a working mom who runs an early childhood education center. It's quite often that Nicole is approached by one of her employees requesting more flexibility with how they can use their overtime. Some of her employees need to take off to take their child to the doctor, some need to go and meet with a teacher. But under the current law, Nicole is not able to present her hardworking staff with this option. She understands that this bill would give her employees more flexibility to balance both work and their lives at home.
Mr. Speaker, for too long working families in the private sector have not been able to choose a more flexible schedule when working overtime; but for the past 30 years, government employees have been afforded this luxury. It's time for all of us to present all parents in America with this option.
As a father of three, I can tell you as a working parent I know that it is very necessary to be there for your children. And I bet no matter who you are as a working parent, if you asked a mom or a dad what they need more of, it's time. Washington should not be standing in the way of any employer voluntarily offering this benefit for any employee choosing more time. That's the bottom line, Mr. Speaker. Washington should not be in the way of more freedom in the workplace.
I know this policy will work, from speaking with local government employees who already enjoy this advantage.
Vicki is a working mom and a police officer in my district. She works long hours, and she raises her children.
She tells me her life is made a little easier because she's allowed to work a few extra hours, save it up in case there's a sick day or an after-school event that she must attend.
It's simply unfair for those who work for Nicole in the private sector to be prohibited from receiving the benefits that Vicki does, a government employee.
This is a bill that should easily garner bipartisan support because, frankly, it puts parents before politics and will give people more freedom to make their lives work. There's simply no good reason to deny hardworking parents the opportunity to take their children to the doctor or to attend a parent-teacher conference.
I want to thank my constituents for their relaying stories to me about their life story, about how this bill helps.
And again, I'm very grateful to the leadership and the role model that the gentlewoman from Alabama (Mrs. Roby) and Chairman Kline have set forth in this effort. This act will help parents all across America, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
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