WH plans to veto NDAA bill that includes expanded leave benefits for feds
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Dec 09, 2020
The Office of Management and Budget this week released a statement officially notifying Congress that it plans to veto a bill that includes a provision that aims to strengthen paid parental leave for federal employees.
A provision in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act granted Title 5 federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. However, workers at the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Federal Aviation Administration —Title 38 employees—were not included in the law.
The 2021 NDAA bill, which the House approved by a 335-78 vote on Dec. 8, extends the benefit to the roughly 100,000 federal civilians excluded from the older bill. It also includes a provision that calls for the renaming of Defense Department facilities named after Confederate military leaders, which the administration takes issue with.
OMB, on the same day, released a statement that read in part, “The Administration recognizes the importance of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to our national security. Unfortunately, this conference report fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by this Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. Therefore, the Administration strongly opposes passage of the conference report…”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is a strong supporter of the House-approved version of the bill, including the facility-renaming provision.
“The Confederate cause stood for slavery, sedition, and segregation. Our troops should not be working at bases named for people who fought for these values,” he said in a statement after the bill’s passage. He added, “I'm pleased that the NDAA Conference Report will also ensure that all federal employees receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave,” calling the exclusion an “oversight” that is now corrected under the new legislation.
In the statement, OMB expressed its willingness to negotiate with Congress on a bill it will approve, or will enact certain parts of the bill separately, such as a pay raise for active military and the renewal of expiring authorities, through the appropriations process.
Hoyer has said that Democratic leaders would call the House back into session after Christmas to override any veto, if necessary.
Read the full OMB statement here.