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Politics House passes defense bill to establish Space Force, paid family leave for federal workers

01:55  12 december  2019
01:55  12 december  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Congress, White House Reach Tentative Deal Over Paid Parental Leave for Federal Workers

  Congress, White House Reach Tentative Deal Over Paid Parental Leave for Federal Workers Congress has struck a tentative bipartisan agreement that would authorize 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal workers, in a potentially historic deal negotiated with the White House. Draft language for a must-pass annual defense policy bill includes a provision that would allow 2.1 million civilians who work for the U.S. government across the country to take paid leave to care for a new baby after birth, adoption or the initiation of foster care, according to multiple people familiar with the deal.

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed a 8 billion military policy bill that would authorize the creation of the Space Force championed by President Trump as the sixth branch of the military and secure paid parental leave for more than two million federal workers .

Federal employees who take leave for parental or other family -related purposes — time that currently is unpaid — would receive their regular salaries for that leave instead, under a bill that has passed the House . The provision changes from unpaid to paid the time available to most federal employees

The House on Wednesday easily passed the compromise defense policy bill that would grant federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave and create a new branch of the military dedicated to space.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: House passes defense bill to establish Space Force, paid family leave for federal workers© Greg Nash House passes defense bill to establish Space Force, paid family leave for federal workers

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in a 377-48 vote, with many "no" votes coming from progressive Democrats upset after several of their priorities were removed from the legislation. In all, 41 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted "no."

The compromise bill picked up Republican support that was absent when the House passed its original version of the defense legislation in July, allowing the chamber to send the $738 billion bill to the Senate.

Military Spouses, Gov’t Workers See Wins in $738B Defense Bill

  Military Spouses, Gov’t Workers See Wins in $738B Defense Bill Negotiators on the 2020 Defense Authorization bill have agreed to repeal the “widow’s tax,” which had shortchanged military spouses on the amount of survivor benefits they could collect. © Bloomberg U.S. military personnel gather to board the USS Wasp aircraft carrier ahead of the Memorial Day address by U.S. President Donald Trump at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Trump said talks with Japan focused on security and a trade deal between the allies are going well ahead of a meeting with U.S.

It looks like Space Force has earned its wings. The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees The bill would create a new Space Force under Title 10 of the federal code. All federal employees would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid parental leave – one of the most significant

When Congress took up a must- pass defense bill earlier this year, President Trump saw it as a rare His admirers have worn Space Force shirts and hats. The Pentagon has established a Space It would bring federal workers parity with military families , who were granted up to 12 weeks of paid

"This was not an easy process," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said ahead of the vote. "We have a divided government. We have a Republican president, a Republican Senate and Democratic House who do not agree on a lot of issues, and those are the issues that tend to get focused on. But what this conference report reflects for the most part is that we do agree on a lot."

Rep. Mac Thornberry (Texas), the top Republican on the committee who voted against the House version in July, added that the final bill is "good for the troops, and it is good for national security, and when it comes to a defense authorization bill, that's all that really matters."

House passage of the NDAA comes two days after the compromise bill was unveiled following months of negotiations between the Democratic-led House, GOP-led Senate and the White House.

Democrats leveraged Trump’s fixation on Space Force to pursue parental-leave victory for federal workers

  Democrats leveraged Trump’s fixation on Space Force to pursue parental-leave victory for federal workers In private negotiations, Trump aides were willing to make dramatic concessions to secure Space Force.

"Including paid family leave is a victory for all workers because it will help push more employers in the right direction and ensure more workers get paid The biggest remaining hurdle to the compromise has appeared to be Senate Republicans, who earlier this year rejected a measure to establish similar

“Including paid family leave is a victory for all workers because it will help push more employers in the right direction and ensure more workers get paid The biggest remaining hurdle to the compromise has appeared to be Senate Republicans, who earlier this year rejected a measure to establish similar

President Trump has said he will sign the compromise bill.

"Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: Pay Raise for our Troops, Rebuilding our Military, Paid Parental Leave, Border Security, and Space Force! Congress - don't delay this anymore! I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Negotiators said throughout the months-long talks that the main stumbling blocks were provisions related to Trump's border wall.

The original House bill would have blocked Trump from dipping into Pentagon funds for the wall after he tapped $6.1 billion from the department for his signature project.

Ultimately, negotiators decided to leave out wall-related provisions, kicking the issue to the ongoing appropriations process.

The final bill also dropped a slew of other Democratic priorities that were in the House bill, including language to reverse Trump's transgender military ban, block Trump from taking military action against Iran, end all U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, force the cleanup of cancer-linked "forever chemicals" called PFAS, block the deployment of the low-yield nuclear warhead and ban new transfers to the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Lawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal

  Lawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House and Senate negotiators on Monday released an agreement for the massive annual defense policy bill that would give federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave in exchange for creating President Trump's long-sought Space Force.The $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) covers everything from how many planes and ships the military can buy to reforming privatized military housing.News broke Friday night that this year'sThe $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) covers everything from how many planes and ships the military can buy to reforming privatized military housing.

Congress, White House near deal to create Space Force in exchange for paid leave for federal workers . The biggest remaining hurdle to the compromise has appeared to be Senate Republicans, who earlier this year rejected a measure to establish similar benefits for federal workers .

Congressional lawmakers and the White House are on the verge of reaching a sweeping agreement that would extend 12 weeks of paid parental leave to federal workers in exchange for making “ Space Force ” the sixth branch of the U.S military, according to four people with knowledge of the tentative

Democrats did secure a major win in the bill with the inclusion of a policy that would grant all federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave in what's being touted as a historic deal to give the benefit to more than 2 million Americans for the first time ever.

Progressives, though, balked over the proposals excluded from the final bill.

"There are many things you can call the bill, but it's Orwellian to call it progressive," Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said Wednesday.

Still, Smith has defended the bill "as the most progressive defense bill in the history of the country, with Donald Trump as president and Jim Inhofe as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee."

"Throughout the negotiations I failed in one way: I was unable to turn President Trump, [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.] and Chairman [James] Inhofe [R-Okla.] into Democrats and convince them to suddenly accept all of the provisions they despise," Smith added in a lengthy statement ahead of Wednesday's vote.

"Nonetheless, we have accomplished more with this bill than anyone ever thought possible given the realities of a Trump White House and a Republican-controlled Senate, and we should be proud of that."

Space Force may finally become real — but it won’t be an overhaul

  Space Force may finally become real — but it won’t be an overhaul A space corps called Space ForceThe new provisions are included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which determines the military’s responsibilities and strategies as well as authorizes funds for the coming year. The bill, if approved, would establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces, making it the first new military branch to be created in more than 70 years. However, the Space Force will still be housed within the already established US Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps resides within the US Navy.

When Congress took up a must- pass defense bill earlier this year, President Trump saw it as a rare His admirers have worn Space Force shirts and hats. The Pentagon has established a Space It would have paid for 12 weeks of time off that is now available to federal workers without pay under

While the annual bill , which establishes budgets for the military, has yet to pass Congress, House and Senate lawmakers have included 12 weeks of paid Currently, non-military federal workers only have access to 12 weeks of unpaid leave , laid out by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which Congress

The Democratic chairman said that Trump and GOP leaders "would have killed the bill over these provisions" and without the bill "we would have gotten nothing."

In a win for Trump and Republicans, the bill would also create Space Force - a new branch of the military aimed at protecting U.S. space assets from threats from Russia and China.

The service - which was first proposed by the House in 2017 as Space Corps - has become a top priority for Trump as it elicits huge applause at his rallies.

Space Force would be housed in the Department of the Air Force in a structure similar to the Marine Corps' relationship to the Department of the Navy. The service would be led by the chief of space operations, who would report directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"People have been trying to kill this baby in the womb for the last three years, and I believe there is going to be some people who want to see it die in the crib," Rep. Mike Roger (R-Ala.), one of the chief proponents of Space Force, told reporters about opposition to the service. "We're not going to let that happen."

Donald Trump signs defense bill that creates Space Force, expands parental leave .
The legislation passed Congress after a deal that involved Democratic demands for family leave and Trump's desire for a Space Force.The National Defense Authorization Act, which includes pay raises for troops, represents history's largest investment in military power, Trump told troops gathered for a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland.

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