Members of the House have rejected a move to honor employer efforts to help employees balance work and family obligations.
H.R. 4855, the Work-Life Balance Act bill, would have created a new U.S. Labor Department award program to recognize outstanding employer work-life balance programs.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., had support from employer groups and benefits groups. House Democratic leaders put the bill on a list of uncontroversial bills that can reach the floor easily but need a two-thirds majority to pass.
The bill failed 249-163.
Democrats voted 230-19 in favor of the bill, and Republicans voted 16-147 against the bill.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, a House member who voted against the bill, said he supports the goals of the bill.
“The goals and objectives of this bill are respectable, even noble ideas,” Bishop said, according to a version of his remarks printed in the Congressional Record. “No one questions that a proper work-life balance is extremely important.”
Bishop said he voted against the bill because he believes the federal government is trying to do too many things and should not be in the business of promoting good work-life balance.