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Wed Dec 11, 2019, 09:46 PM

House passes bill establishing Space Force, parental leave for federal workers

Source: Washington Post

The House passed a $738 billion defense policy bill Wednesday, establishing the Space Force and introducing parental leave for federal workers, even as liberals signaled dissatisfaction with compromises Democratic lawmakers reached by voting against the legislation.

President Trump said he would sign the bill after striking a deal with House Democrats that permits the creation of his Space Force as a sixth branch of the military, one of his top priorities at the Pentagon, in exchange for extending 12 weeks of paid parental leave to more than 2 million federal workers, a victory for Democratic lawmakers. Federal workers at the moment don’t have guaranteed access to paid family leave.

The bill passed in the House on a 377-48 vote. Those who voted against it were primarily liberal Democrats who felt the compromise version of the legislation hammered out with the Republican-led Senate offered up too many concessions, including a top-line authorization that gives $22 billion more to defense than last year, plus another $5.3 billion for disaster recovery on military installations.

Known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, the annual bill sets out priorities for the Pentagon and funding targets for programs. Congressional appropriators ultimately will decide how much federal money the Pentagon receives for those priorities in budget legislation. The compromise bill, having passed in the House, will face a Senate vote slated for next week.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-signals-intent-to-sign-738-billion-national-defense-policy-bill/2019/12/11/50e6d994-1c3e-11ea-9ddd-3e0321c180e7_story.html

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 09:57 PM

1. Wow. I just cannot understand why a space force is better for me and my family

than healthcare.

Silly me...I'd rather have healthcare.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 10:00 PM

2. well you know Trump renames something that already exists and proclaims genius and victory...

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 09:15 AM

10. I know. They threw him a bone, and didn't even authorize the establishment of a new branch.

The amount is modest compared to multibillion-dollar estimates that have been floated in the past several months. The 2020 request would cover the cost of setting up the Space Development Agency, U.S. Space Command and the Space Force headquartersif and when Congress authorizes the establishment of the new branch.

https://spacenews.com/pentagon-budget-proposal-funds-space-force-headquarters-as-a-starting-point/

In exchange they got more benefits for actual military personnel and their families.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/us/politics/house-ndaa-space-force-leave.html

...a White House-approved measure that would extend 12 weeks of paid parental leave to civilian federal employees, a 3 percent pay raise for troops and the end to a Defense Department policy known as the widow’s tax, which prevents the surviving family members of military personnel from receiving their full benefits.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 10:01 PM

3. When the Martians come

you won't need healthcare.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 11:25 PM

4. Fun fact: The US had a Space Command from 1985 to 2002

In 2002 it's responsibilities were merged into Strategic Command.

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Response to Massacure (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 09:17 AM

11. But that doesn't feed piling onto Congressional Democrats and Speaker Pelosi

Shhhhh......

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 09:01 AM

7. um... You don't fund the ACA in a military spending bill...

What Democrats got in return for actual service members...

A White House-approved measure that would extend 12 weeks of paid parental leave to civilian federal employees, a 3 percent pay raise for troops and the end to a Defense Department policy known as the widow’s tax, which prevents the surviving family members of military personnel from receiving their full benefits.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/us/politics/house-ndaa-space-force-leave.html

And they didn't authorize Space Force to be established...

"The amount is modest compared to multibillion-dollar estimates that have been floated in the past several months. The 2020 request would cover the cost of setting up the Space Development Agency, U.S. Space Command and the Space Force headquarters — if and when Congress authorizes the establishment of the new branch. The Pentagon projects that the Space Force budget will increase over the next several years due to mission demands."

https://spacenews.com/pentagon-budget-proposal-funds-space-force-headquarters-as-a-starting-point/

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 12:16 PM

12. Yes, I am quite aware of the US budgetary process. That wasn't my point, and I fear you've

misunderstood what I'm saying.

I am not bashing Pelosi or the Democratic leadership. I don't 'pile on.'

I am not saying that healthcare should be funded through a defense spending bill.

I am neither criticizing, or ignorant of, the fact our bicameral legislature is structured for debate and compromise, and that many times if a bill is passed with which we disagree, it will have provisions placed in as amendments with which we do agree.

Here's what I am saying:
In FY17, our 'defense' budget was $649 billion, in FY18 $639 billion. In FY 19 it went back up to $686.1 billion, and now, this year, it is a whopping $738 billion. Why? We spend more on defense than the next eight countries behind us. I know we have many jobs dependent on this spending and so reductions necessarily would have to be gradual, but we have no business spending this much on defense. None.

A retooling of the economy to fund infrastructure improvements and a movement to green energy (a green new deal), and the addition of a retraining program in the context of our existing workforce development structure would allow people laid off as a result of defense cuts to get the new skills they need for a new economy.



Secondly, I am and have always said that I want the taxes I pay in to my government, that is supposed to be a government 'of, by and for' the people, and at the least should better represent my interests, to be used for programs that materially benefit me and my family.

Like healthcare.

Early childhood education and nutrition.

Childcare.

A leveling of the playing field in terms of funding K-12.

Debt-free college at state schools.

These things are MUCH more useful to me than a space force. I don't care of we had a space command that turned into strategic command. That is decades-old history. What I do care about is that we begin retooling our very government to get rid of dark money and special interests so that it CAN represent us.

And right now, this giant, bloated, stupidly wasteful defense budget is one of the things that keeps the government from being able to fund expansions in Medicare and Social Security, as well as other non-mandatory safety net programs such as workforce development.

Oh, and I AM a proponent of a) repealing the giant 2017 tax cut for billionaire parasites and corporations, b) repealing other Republican tax cuts on the books, c) bringing the graduated tax rates back up to where they were before Reagan slithered into the White House, and d) implement other taxes, such as a Wall Street transaction tax.

I vehemently disagree with people like Grover Norquist and other neoliberals who wish to starve the government through tax cuts, impose massive deregulation, privatize everything in sight and let the 'free' market take care of the rest. That has never, does not now, and will never work to do anything but route more and more money into fewer and fewer hands.

Taxes aren't always bad, and we need to take that dialog back from Republicans. Their programs don't work. They make things worse for everyday people.

Anyway, enough of that. I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 01:43 PM

13. These were your words, yes?

Wow. I just cannot understand why a space force is better for me and my family

than healthcare.

Silly me...I'd rather have healthcare.


I didn't put those there. You posited the "either/or" false choice.


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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2019, 07:06 AM

5. Yaaaayyyyyy...... more money to military contractors!!!!!!!

Silly me, I've got this stupid notion in my head that Americans would be better off with less military spending and universal healthcare. But what do I know?

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Response to groundloop (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 09:06 AM

9. This is a military spending bill, which would not be where UHC would be funded

Also, they got things for the men and women in service and their families in echange.

A White House-approved measure that would extend 12 weeks of paid parental leave to civilian federal employees, a 3 percent pay raise for troops and the end to a Defense Department policy known as the widow’s tax, which prevents the surviving family members of military personnel from receiving their full benefits.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/us/politics/house-ndaa-space-force-leave.html

Besides, they didn't even authorize establishing the branch, so there's no need to go on a rant just yet.

The amount is modest compared to multibillion-dollar estimates that have been floated in the past several months. The 2020 request would cover the cost of setting up the Space Development Agency, U.S. Space Command and the Space Force headquarters — if and when Congress authorizes the establishment of the new branch.


https://spacenews.com/pentagon-budget-proposal-funds-space-force-headquarters-as-a-starting-point/




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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2019, 12:12 PM

6. So Dems help pass expansion of the military industrial complex? Not a good way of getting voters

to vote for them. This is a YUGE win for fascists.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 09:03 AM

8. Actually, no. Dems got more spending for our priorities in exchange & didn't approve

the establishment of this new branch.

The amount is modest compared to multibillion-dollar estimates that have been floated in the past several months. The 2020 request would cover the cost of setting up the Space Development Agency, U.S. Space Command and the Space Force headquarters — if and when Congress authorizes the establishment of the new branch. .

https://spacenews.com/pentagon-budget-proposal-funds-space-force-headquarters-as-a-starting-point/

What Democrats won in this military spending bill:

A White House-approved measure that would extend 12 weeks of paid parental leave to civilian federal employees, a 3 percent pay raise for troops and the end to a Defense Department policy known as the widow’s tax, which prevents the surviving family members of military personnel from receiving their full benefits.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/us/politics/house-ndaa-space-force-leave.html

I guess parental leave is "identity politics..."

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Response to Zorro (Original post)


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 07:30 PM

15. The fascinating thing in all this

is that we do not currently have the capacity to put people (soldiers) into space.

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