Transportation chief Buttigieg defends family leave after being mocked by Fox News anchor

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended paid family leave on Sunday, after Fox News host Tucker Carlson mocked the secretary for taking paternity leave to care for his twin newborns.

"When somebody welcomes a new child into their family, and goes on leave to take care of that child that's not a vacation, it's work, it's joyful, wonderful, fulfilling work, but it is work," said Buttigieg on "Meet the Press."

Politico reported last week the secretary had been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their twin babies, Penelope and Joseph.

On Thursday, Carlson said: “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went."

Not long after, many came to Buttigieg's defense including White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who tweeted she's "proud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone, and with people like @SecretaryPete who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents."

When pressed if paid family leave will remain in President Joe Biden's $3.5 billion 'Build Back Better' agenda, Buttigieg said, it remains "in the President's vision, we'll see what the legislative process is going to bring."

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