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Trump Pens an Open Christmas Letter to Federal Employees

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

On Friday, President Donald Trump shared a letter he wrote to federal employees, thanking them for their service and outlining new benefits they will see come starting in the new year. He also used the opportunity to tout the successes he has had since he took office.

"Your devoted and vigilant efforts are critical to our Nation's success, as we work together to serve the citizens of our magnificent Country," he wrote in his letter. "Your great contributions to this nation is why I'm proud to inform you that I recently signed into law major improvements to compensation and benefits for Federal Employees included in the 2020 appropriations package and the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act."

Under the new spending bill and NDAA agreements, most federal employees will see a 3.1 percent pay increase, the largest in the last 10 years. 

"This pay raise reflects the excellent work and compliments another unprecedented benefit that I also just signed into law – Paid Paternal leave," he wrote. 

Earlier this month, a group of four legislators – including Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Colin Allred (D-TX) and Sens. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) – unveiled the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act. The legislation allows families to offset the financial burdens associated with a new baby, like childcare and baby supplies, by opting to advance up to $5,000 of their child tax credit. Families would be eligible for the first year of a child's life or the first year they adopt a child. This gives parents flexibility without having to miss work or sacrifice an employer's family/medical leave policy in order to pay for other expenses. 

Trump was able to accomplish this as part of a negotiation in the NDAA. Federal employees can now receive 12 weeks of paid family leave, something Trump touted in his letter. 

"This ensures parents are not forced to choose between their jobs and spending precious time with their children. Strong and thriving families are the true source of America's success – and key to America's future," Trump wrote. "As the chief executive of the Country's largest workforce, I am proud to say that our Government is leading by example in changing the culture of how we support working families."

The president reminded federal employees that unemployment is at a 50-year low and "the Stock Market has set more than 130 record highs over the last 3 years," which he said is helping Thrift Savings Plans reach "extraordinary levels."

Trump reminded federal employees that he also signed an Executive Order giving them Christmas Eve to spend with their families and loved ones. 

"I want to thank each of you for your work this past year, and I am excited about what we will achieve working together for the American people in 2020," he wrote. "Our country has never done better – and we are just getting started! May God bless you and your family this holiday season, and may God continue to bless the United States of America."

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