There is talk of Congress and the Trump Administration very close to creating a sixth branch of the military, called the “Space Force.” To achieve this monumental change, there is an exchange on the table that would lengthen federal employees’ current parental leave to 12 paid weeks.
This particular undertaking is a component of a bill regarding defense authorization that is expected to pass before the end of this year. If the deal goes through, this may be written down in history as one of President Trump’s most significant accomplishments during his term.
Some that have inside knowledge of the negotiations state that things are not for certain until they are agreed on and approved. Also, the President has changed his mind last minute on deals as well. However, it is hard to say what direction he will go at this time.
However, this new paid parental leave is already being used by his daughter. Also, one of his advisers, to paint President Trump’s success. She states that the government must pave the way as they are the biggest employer in the nation. She says that after three years of pushing for this defense authorization bill, this will finally provide paid parental leave for every federal worker, a movement in the direction to get paid parental leave a possibility in the future for all U.S. citizens. Ivanka Trump states that this policy is another win for millions of Americans due to the President.
The Wall Street Journal was the first news outlet that came out about the news in regards to the parental leave policy. Those that talked about the matter did it anonymously as there has not been the go-ahead to do so publicly.
An anonymous Democratic congressional aid states that both negotiating groups are close to agreeing on a final deal. The deal would be voted on very soon.
If the deal goes through, this paid family leave would be received by millions of federal employees that currently can leave without pay under the law.
Since President Trump came into his seat almost three years ago, his administration has advocated lessen pay and take away benefits from federal employees. However, this would be on the contrary to those advocacies with creating a monumental new benefit for the federal labor force.
Similarly to how the Marine Corps is under the Navy, the new Space Force would be under the Air Force.
A senior administration official states that the President has been aggressively pushing for this new military branch, even as he is facing impeachment matters. However, it is still unclear if the President’s wish will be approved by the House Democrats.
At this time, the Pentagon has a Space Command that will have a four-star general taking the reigns. However, if the Space Force is agreed on and implemented, this would allow them to recruit, train, and fit-out servicemembers for space militarization and defense. The branch would be in charge of overseeing and defending American satellites from attacks.
Adam Smith, D-CA, chairman of House Armed Services Committee, said that his party is prioritizing paid maternity and paternity leave and that Trump wants his Space Force. He said that the Trump Administration would not agree to this leave if the Space Force were not on the table.
Disclosure from a senior defense official says that the Air Force assigned a group to plan the new branch and to agree on matters such as how to transfer current Air Force military members to the Space Force, uniforms, and structures of rank.
The U.S. Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, and Barbara Barret, Air Force Secretary, are also advocating for the Space Force, according to an anonymous defense official. The officials state that they were all for the new branch and would make it a priority to get things done quickly.
However, the official state that there are still complex matters that the Pentagon would have to cover, which can take some time to get through. Such issues include where the headquarters of the new force would be within the Pentagon, along with if the force will have its own security teams or if they would depend on other military branches.
This deal will not only be an excellent benefit for federal workers but a win against the current Presidential administration, as the current administration has cut benefits like telework and have been more insistent also to cut workers that it believes are performing poorly. Though the President has mentioned providing a raise for federal workers in 2020, this was not the case for this year until Congress came back from the government shutdown that happened.
The staff vice president for policy and programs at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees, Jessica Klement, said that this policy should have happens a while ago as this paid leave policy is generally done by most large employers around the world and in the U.S.
Klement claims that this new policy will help with recruiting new talent and retaining current ones in the government. This will be very important as the government is anticipating a flood of workers retiring while they have only 6% of workers under 30 in the workforce.
It is still unclear as to the cost of expenses on both the Space Force or the parental leave benefit.