Congratulations to U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper and wife Robin Pringle on the birth of their surrogate child.
In a letter to friends, the senator announced the child’s gender as a “boy,” so we will respectfully be using the “he” pronoun.
The letter was picked up by the media, then shared through social media, which Hickenlooper tweeted to announce the birth of his son to the rest of us.
We have wonderful news to share! https://t.co/lYbi7kr2T1
— Senator John Hickenlooper (@SenatorHick) December 9, 2022
From the letter:
“It’s been a long journey. One that many parents understand. It took a combination of love, miracles, and determination. But here we are. Cuddling this amazing little baby boy,” the letter said.
Senator Hickenlooper, who is 70 years old, has a 20-year-old son from his first marriage. This is the first child for the senator and his wife Robin, 44.
The Twitterverse greeted the news as expected:
John Hickenlooper is 70. That’s pretty sad for the kid. He’ll be 88 when he graduates high school https://t.co/u1HuK8tcgp
— Brendan 🇺🇦🌐🦅🇺🇸 (@Lawlorbrendans) December 9, 2022
70-year-old new papa Sen. Hickenlooper out there setting us up for a future “I can’t believe John Tyler’s grandson is still alive!”-style scenario in 150 years:https://t.co/nPDtLRv3Pn
— Richard Morrison (@RichardMorrison) December 9, 2022
Colorado Public Radio reports the senator has not been at the U.S. Capitol voting all week, and is on paternity leave from his U.S. Senate seat.
How will women of all ages who had to put off having children, or struggled to make ends meet when they did have children, receive the news that a 70-year-old millionaire senator gets paid paternity leave?
Probably the same way they reacted upon learning that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had been AWOL on paternity leave for several months during the height of the crippling supply-chain crisis and hadn’t bothered to appoint an acting secretary in his absence.
While Americans worry if they’ll be able to afford — or even find — presents for their children this holiday season, the Biden administration’s point person to clear up the supply chain bottleneck, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has been home playing with his.
Besides several recent television hits, Buttigieg has been a stay-at-home dad Politico reported — out on paternity leave for nearly two months amid the spiraling crisis to spend time with his husband and two newborn babies. And the Biden cabinet secretary plans to continue to give them home support in the coming weeks, the report said.
The news of Buttigieg’s daddy day care comes as dozens of large ships remained stuck in a traffic jam near the Los Angeles coast for more than a month waiting to dock and unload goods including toasters, sneakers, bicycles and cars. A shortage of truckers has also prevented companies from distributing supplies across the country.
Good times. But we digress.
Hickenlooper has not indicated how long he will be MIA on paternity leave. We expect it would be ageist of us to suggest a 70-year-old man probably isn’t much help in taking care of a newborn, except to keep the baby company during nap time.
While away from the Senate this week, Hickenlooper missed votes confirming eight of President Biden’s judicial nominees.
Speaking of paid paternity leave, Coloradans will see less of their take-home paychecks beginning in January as the Polis administration takes a cut for the new state family and medical leave fund.
All workers whose employer does not offer a compatible program are required to pay .45 percent of their annual wages into the plan, regardless of if ever used. That amounts to $225 per year on a $50,000 salary. Employers are required to match the employee’s .45 percent for a total of .9 percent contribution per pay period. Employers with nine or fewer employees do not have to match the .45 percent, but the employees will still be required to pay their share.
However, the .45 percent is only guaranteed for the first two years of the program, as the law allows for hiking the deduction without going back to voters.
So congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Senator Hickenlooper!
And don’t give a second thought to us constituents, we Coloradans are starting to get used to being under represented in the Senate.