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House Passes Bill Including Space Force, Parental Leave

Trump urges Senate to pass defense bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 4:33 AM CST

(Newser) – The military will get a new branch and federal workers will get up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave under a massive $738 billion military bill policy passed by the House Wednesday. The Hill reports that the National Defense Authorization Act passed 377-48, with most of the votes against coming from Democrats unhappy that measures including reversing President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military and requiring Trump to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Iran were ditched as part of the compromise. The bill brings in the Space Force Trump ordered last year, and the White House boasted in a tweet that thanks to the president's leadership in "establishing space as a warfighting domain, the United States will dominate in that environment just like all others."

Democrats pushed for paid parental leave in return for the Space Force, though Trump claimed it had been a White House priority, reports the Washington Post. "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!" tweeted the president, who urged the Senate to pass the compromise bill so he could sign it immediately. Sources tell the New York Times that Jared Kushner played a major role in the final stage of negotiations with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith. The sources say Kushner—whose wife, Ivanka Trump, has championed paid parental leave—brokered the Space Force deal and nixed measures targeting Saudi Arabia. (Read more National Defense Authorization Act stories.)

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