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

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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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DISCUSSION

brickhardmeat
Brick HardMeat

Considering Trump is involved, nothing is certain until the ink is dry. Paid parental leave would be a rare notch in Trump’s belt that liberals would actually get behind — and would be a launch pad for Ivanka to crow about if (when?) she decides to run for office herself.

Buuuuuuut... Trump is an easily distracted moron who will go back on his word whenever the wind changes direction, and then later claim he’d always had the same position. His understanding of negotiation and “deal making” is cartoonishly juvenile and doesn’t allow room for win-win scenarios - he won’t feel like it’s a “good deal” unless he gets to somehow “trick” his bargaining partner and pull the wool over their eyes so he feels like he’s come out on top.

Whomever is the last person to talk to him before the bill comes across his desk will be the deciding factor.