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Paid family leave is ‘not a vacation,’ Buttigieg says

Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegRepublican spin on Biden is off the mark Unanswered questions remain for Buttigieg, Biden on supply chain catastrophe Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave MORE, who welcomed the birth of adopted twins last month, said on Sunday that paid family leave is “not a vacation.”

“Look, paid family leave is important. It’s important as a matter of family values. It’s important to our economy. And one more thing that I think is maybe underappreciated. When somebody welcomes a new child into their family and goes on leave to take care of that child, that’s not a vacation,” Buttigieg said during “Meet the Press” on NBC. “It’s work. It’s joyful, wonderful, fulfilling work, but it is work. And it’s time that our nation join pretty much every other country in the world and recognize that.”

In early September, the transportation secretary and his husband announced the birth of twins Penelope Rose and Joseph August. Politico reported on Thursday that Buttigieg had been on paid family leave since mid-August. The issue of taking paid family leave was mocked by Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonButtigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Biden’s safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet Country star Travis Tritt canceling shows at sites with mandates MORE during his prime-time show.

“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went,” Carlson said.

Carlson’s remarks come despite the fact that his employer has a six-week paternity leave policy, which some of his colleagues have taken advantage of such as “Fox & Friends First” co-host Todd Piro.

Those comments ignited a backlash among Democrats, including White House officials, who defended the new father for taking time off.

“Also proud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone, and with people like @SecretaryPete who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen Psaki’Saturday Night Live’ flashes back to the ‘ghost of Biden past’ Unanswered questions remain for Buttigieg, Biden on supply chain catastrophe Chris Wallace labels Psaki ‘one of the best press secretaries ever’ MORE tweeted on Friday.

“Meet the Press” host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGlasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal Arkansas governor backs employer vaccine mandates Paid family leave is ‘not a vacation,’ Buttigieg says MORE noted during the interview that while paid family leave has been included in the Democrat’s massive spending bill, Todd suggested it may not be in the final version of the reconciliation package.

“You know, let me tell you, it is in the president’s vision. And we’ll see what the legislative process is going to bring. But the president’s been very clear on what he’s calling for. And the American people want this too. And frankly, I view this as something, or I wish at least that this were something that Republicans could join Democrats in calling for,” Buttigieg said.