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US House Approves $738B Defense Bill, Includes Space Force And Extended Parental Leave

US House Approves $738B Defense Bill, Includes Space Force And Extended Parental Leave

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, which will set the funding priorities for a $738 billion budget for the year 2020.

A Compromise Between Democrats and Republicans

The latest version approved by the House approved the creation of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military. The bill also includes provisions for 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal employees.

If brought into law, this would be the biggest benefit to federal employees since 1993 when President Bill Clinton signed a law allowing workers to use sick leave to care for their family members, according to the Washington Post.

The provisions of the bill reflect a compromise as Trump administration, Republican-controlled Senate, and Democrat-controlled House all had their own priorities, the Post said.

President Trump had insisted on funding for the Space Force, which allowed the House Democrats to bargain for the paid parental leave program.

The House voted 377-48 in favor of the new bill, with only a handful of liberal Democrats disagreeing with the compromise reached, the Post reported.

Trump Administration Approves Already

The bill is expected to pass promptly as the Trump administration has already expressed support for the latest version passed by the House.

President Trump lauded the bill passed by the House on Twitter.

“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 said.

Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to the President, said that the bill is “headed to [Trump’s] desk for signature soon.”

“Thank you to bipartisan members in Congress for securing passage of this important legislation & presidential priority!” she said on Twitter.


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