Obama Touts New Entitlements: 'These Aren't Frills, They're Basic Needs. They Shouldn't Be Bonuses'

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | June 22, 2014 | 3:33 PM EDT

Pres. Obama announced efforts to create a new set of entitlements in his weekly address on Saturday.

"Family leave. Childcare. Flexibility. These aren't frills - they're basic needs. They shouldn't be bonuses - they should be the bottom line," Obama declared in announcing the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families.

The U.S. is one of only three countries that "don't offer paid maternity leave," Obama said, adding that "It's time to change that":

"Take paid family leave. Many jobs don't offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent, so workers can't afford to be there when their family needs them the most. That's wrong. And it puts us way behind the times. Only three countries in the world report that they don't offer paid maternity leave. Three. And the United States is one of them. It's time to change that."

Obama said he will promote his agenda to business leaders at Monday's summit:

"That's what I'll spend some time talking about on Monday, at the White House Summit on Working Families. We're bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day, and how we can address them together."