President Obama used an executive order today to mandate paid sick leave for as many government-contracted private employees as he is legally allowed to without an act of congress, and both major democratic party candidates for President in 2016 wasted little time publicly endorsing his position on the issue. Shortly after Obama made the announcement, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders each took to Twitter to state their support for it – suggesting that the two candidates may have more common ground than some might believe.
“POTUS is right: everyone deserves to earn seven paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family leave,” tweeted Hillary Clinton early this afternoon, personally signing the tweet in order to confirm that she personally wrote it. Two hours later Bernie Sanders tweeted “We’ve got to end the embarrassment of being the only major country that does not guarantee paid leave to workers,” while posting a link to a longer statement on his official website which made clear he supports Obama’s move today.
Both Sanders and Clinton have pushed for paid sick leave to be mandatory for all American workers. However doing so would require the approval of congress, and the current republican majority has made clear it won’t support any such initiative. That’s left Obama limited to only being able to change the rules for government contractors. Any democratic President in 2016 would likely need a democratic majority in congress in order to make that happen.
The accord between Clinton and Sanders on this issue is one of several, particularly when it comes to economic reform. Both have supported a constitutional amendment to get corporate money out of politics from the start of their campaigns. Both have plans for reducing the cost of college tuition and easing the student loan debt. Even as Hillary Clinton is perceived as the ultimate political insider and Bernie Sanders is perceived as the ultimate political outsider, the two have offered largely similar views on economic equality. That may be a key factor in the 2016 race when one of them gets the democratic party nomination and supporters of the other are left to decide whether to support the winner in the general election. If you enjoy Daily News Bin, consider making a contribution: