Progressive U.S. lawmakers and advocates for working families were outraged Wednesday by reporting that congressional leaders are planning to fully cut paid leave from Democrats\u0026#039; Build Back Better package due to opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.\r\n\r\n\u0022Congress cannot accept a final Build Back Better deal without paid leave.\u0022\r\n\r\nSources on Capitol Hill told reporters at several news outlets—including CNN, Politico, The Hill, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal—that Democrats are, as the Times put it, \u0022likely to abandon their plans to create a new federal paid family and medical leave program\u0022 because of Manchin (D-W.Va.).\r\n\r\nThe newspaper noted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who \u0022personally reached out\u0022 to the right-wing West Virginian in an attempt to sell him on a compromise, promised to keep pushing for it.\r\n\r\n\u0022Until the bill is printed, I will continue working to include paid leave in the Build Back Better plan,\u0022 Gillibrand said in a statement Wednesday afternoon—a vow echoed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) on Twitter.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPolitico\u0026#039;s Eleanor Mueller also reported that Democrats plan to slash the program, initially proposed as 12 weeks but recently reduced to just four weeks, \u0022from their mammoth social spending package Wednesday after attempts to drastically pare it down were deemed insufficient.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Already, advocates are fuming over what they see as an unwillingness by the White House to fight hard enough for a policy it won [the 2020] election on,\u0022 Mueller wrote in a series of tweets, \u0022particularly in the face of a public health crisis and an economic crisis that disproportionately impacted women and low-wage workers.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Groups launched an eleventh-hour push to keep paid leave in the package, sending mass emails and flooding social media,\u0022 she added. \u0022The hashtag #SavePaidLeave appeared in posts by Paid Leave for All, National Women\u0026#039;s Law Center, and other groups along with advocates like Melinda Gates.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America tweeted: \u0022How can we rebuild without paid leave to keep families working and healthy? We need paid leave.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022It\u0026#039;s outrageous and shameful that in the midst of a global pandemic that\u0026#039;s forced more than two million women out of the workforce, Congress and the White House have put forward a preliminary legislative deal without paid family and medical leave,\u0022 Molly Day, executive director of Paid Leave for the U.S. (PL+US), said in a statement Wednesday evening.\r\n\r\nDay declared that \u0022paid leave is an essential tool for building back better—for returning millions of women to the workforce after a historic she-cession, addressing the widening racial wealth gap and other socio-economic income disparities, and creating the business resiliency our national economy needs in 2021.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Paid leave is about ensuring that no working person has to choose between their family and their paycheck, and the American people are not going to allow that essential human need to be ignored and negotiated away behind closed doors,\u0022 she said. \u0022Congress cannot accept a final Build Back Better deal without paid leave.\u0022\r\n\r\nWomen\u0026#039;s March pointed to a Times report from Monday highlighting that the United States is one of just six nations with no national paid leave and it would still be an outlier with the proposed four-week plan, given what other countries offer.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSome critics of the cut took aim at Manchin, who suggested to CNN Wednesday evening that paid family and medical leave doesn\u0026#039;t belong in the package, saying Democrats should be \u0022examining all this stuff,\u0022 but the reconciliation bill \u0022is not the place to do it.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to the Times, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said that \u0022we are not going to let one man tell millions of women in this country that they can\u0026#039;t have paid leave.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBecause Democrats are trying to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process, they need support from the party\u0026#039;s entire Senate caucus—including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—to pass the package, which has been cut down to roughly $2 trillion in spending over a decade.\r\n\r\nWhite House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday afternoon that President Joe Biden wants a deal on the package—which is holding up a bipartisan infrastructure bill and is supposed to deliver on several of his campaign promises—\u0022before he leaves for Europe\u0022 on Thursday.