Meghan Markle's Lobbying Gets a Boost as Family Leave Returns to Biden's Bill

Meghan Markle's efforts to lobby Congress for paid family leave has received a boost after the policy returned to the Build Back Better Act.

The Duchess of Sussex has been personally phoning senators from both parties in an effort to win support for the proposal, so parents do not have to choose between their income and time off with their babies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced four weeks of paid family leave is back in the legislation, following a backlash by progressive Democrats and also Meghan's lobbying efforts.

The speaker of the house wrote on Twitter: "House Democrats know #PaidLeaveForAll is essential for getting children learning & parents earning—and that's why Paid Family & Medical Leave will be included in our House #BuildBackBetter bill!

"#PaidLeaveForAllbuilds on the transformational provisions of @POTUS Build Back Better Act which will benefit millions of parents and families across America with child care and universal pre-K, the Child Tax Credit, home health care and more!"

The provision was originally dropped in an effort to smooth the bill's passage through the Senate, CNN reported.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin opposes the measure, threatening the party's delicate advantage in the Senate.

Its return comes after Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito revealed she got a surprise cold call from Meghan asking for her support for paid leave.

Quoted by Politico, Capito said: "I'm in my car. I'm driving. It says 'caller ID blocked,'" she recounted. "Honestly ... I thought it was Sen. Manchin. His calls come in blocked. And she goes 'Sen. Capito?' I said, 'Yes.' She said, 'This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.'"

House Democrats know #PaidLeaveForAll is essential for getting children learning & parents earning – and that's why Paid Family & Medical Leave will be included in our House #BuildBackBetter bill!

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 3, 2021

The legislation will still have to pass through the Senate and may meet opposition yet, but the move is a step toward paid leave.

Meghan wrote to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in October asking them not to compromise on paid leave.

She wrote: "In June, my husband and I welcomed our second child. Like any parents, we were overjoyed.

"Like many parents, we were overwhelmed. Like fewer parents, we weren't confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work.

"We knew we could take her home, and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family.

"We knew that by doing so we wouldn't have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day.

"No family should be faced with these decisions. No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan)."

⭐️ Build Back Better NEWS: @SpeakerPelosi: “I have asked the Ways and Means Committee for its legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included in this morning’s hearing.” #PaidLeaveForAll let’s gooooo! pic.twitter.com/szSb27jgZl

— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) November 3, 2021

Pelosi said in a message to Democrats on November 3: "It had been my intention throughout this process to put on the House Floor and pass a bill that would pass the Senate in the same form.

"Because I have been informed by a senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President's Caucus, I have asked the Ways and Means Committee for its legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included in this morning's hearing."

Meghan Markle Visits Cardiff Castle
Meghan Markle, pictured at Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales, has been lobbying for paid family leave. Nancy Pelosi said the policy has been returned to the Build Back Better Act. Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images