While President Trump works diligently to establish and fund the Space Force, the sixth branch of the military, some Democrats are winning concessions from the White House in a trade-off.
Currently, the Space Force is under the purview of the Air Force until the new military branch can function independently. Before that happens, additional funding is required to build infrastructure and train staff. In response, Congress initiated a defense funding bill with the Space Force in mind.
Not all Democrats are in favor of Trump’s proposal, but because of the strategic and political importance of this project and the accompanying defense spending bill, the White House and Republicans were willing to barter.
To fund the Space Force, a tentative bargain has been reached involving additional parental leave benefits for federal employees. The proposed benefits package is estimated to cost $3.3 billion over 5-10 years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not provided an official estimate yet.
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