Both branches of the US Congress were delving into worker benefit mandates this week with a bi-partisan proposal to create a federal paid family leave mandate and a declaration by one of the “squad” calling for a $20/hour federal minimum wage. First, let’s talk about the realistic suggestion. Louisiana republican Senator Bill Cassidy joined with democratic colleague Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to announce a bipartisan proposal to create a federal paid family leave program that would utilize future Child Tax Credits (CTC) to pay for time off from work while parents bond with newborn or newly adopted children. Their proposal would allow parents to receive a $5,000 cash advance for child care that would be borrowed against future child tax credits. As proposed, their plan would exchange their eligible future tax credit from the current $2,000 per year to a rate of $1500 a year for a period of 10 years. Further, low-income parents who pay less in taxes and aren’t eligible for the full $2,000 credit could receive 12 weeks leave with full wage replacement in exchange for a smaller reduction in tax liability over a period of 15 years. A similar proposal earlier this year by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) which would have authorized advance use of social security benefits was not well-received and has since been abandoned. On the subject of a federal minimum wage hike, just a week or two after the US House approved a doubling of the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, speaking at an event sponsored by the left-wing Restaurant Opportunities Center, (one of the 4 freshman members of the House that comprise the progressive “squad”) declared that $15 was no longer a sufficient minimum wage and that Congress should push a $20 per hour minimum upon the business community! Tlaib is one of the 4 freshman members in the US House who comprise the self-named progressive “squad”, of which US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a few weeks back, “They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”