Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill
October 16, 2003
To the Members of the United States Senate:
I am writing on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, to express our concern over an amendment offered by Sen. Feingold (Number 1852) to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (S. 1689).
The Chamber appreciates the intent of the amendment, to provide protection for family members of those called to serve in military contingency operations. However, the amendment, which would modify the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), poses several practical problems that should be carefully examined by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to be sure that it does not create any unintended consequences. As you may know, implementation of the FMLA has proven difficult in a number of important respects, as highlighted in numerous Congressional hearings, and has caused excessive litigation, including 68 court decisions questioning the validity of the FMLA implementing regulations.
The Chamber is concerned that adopting the Feingold amendment without fully vetting its provisions could lead to further difficulties for employees and employers as they try to comply with the FMLA. We would be happy to discuss these issues with you in greater detail at your convenience.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce