When Rep. Ruben Gallego put his job as new dad ahead of his job as U.S. congressman temporarily in July, he was at least the fourth House member to take paternity leave. Others were Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass, in 2018 and 2021, Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, in 2019 and 2021, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, in 2022. Gallego “is setting a powerful example” by taking leave to be with his daughter, says Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., who launched the Congressional Dads Caucus after making headlines for carrying his infant son in a baby carrier during a marathon voting session. The caucus advocates for legislation supporting working families. While Gallego issued statements, co-sponsored bills and signed on to letters, he also missed 92 roll call votes as proxy voting is not allowed. Paternity leave is increasingly common in the private sector but Congress hasn’t modernized some procedures for the modern workplace, says Brad Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation.

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