Republicans Willing to Enact Federal Paid Parental Leave If Trump Can Get Space Force

Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Federal workers (both civilian and military) could soon get 12 weeks of paid parental leave. If, and only if, Congress will fund President Donald Trump’s space force project in a compromised version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Currently, federal works can only take unpaid leave.

Unnamed aides on both sides of the aisle confirmed this possible development of trading expansion of federal worker benefits to fund the space defense force, but it’s not finalized despite “extensive behind-the-scenes battling on the annual defense measure,” per AP reporting.

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Reporting is describing the agreement as “paid parental leave” and little is known about under what circumstances it could be used. Activists regularly advocate for family leave that can be used to care for adopted children, sick spouses, parents, or children in addition to a newborn child’s arrival.

The policy proposal has proponents on both sides, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka is one of those describing the policy as “paid parental leave for all federal employees.”

“This will mark a HUGE step forward towards making paid leave a reality for all Americans,” she tweeted on Friday. “This new policy represents another incredible win for millions of hard-working American families courtesy of President Trump!”

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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) told Politico that the bill could be in front of the House for a vote by next week. “We have reached agreement on this year’s defense authorization bill,” Thornberry said. “And that will be voted on in the House as soon as Wednesday and in the Senate shortly thereafter.”

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