Legislation Would Give Federal Employees 7 Additional Paid Holidays

A bill that would give several additional paid leave days to federal employees has recently gained notoriety because of a debate sparked in the Senate this week.

Would you like to have seven extra paid holidays? If a recently introduced bill were to become law, this could happen for federal workers.

What’s the catch? You would have to spend 6 of those days working at polling places providing “election administration assistance to a State or unit of local government” for “any election for public office.” The other day, however, would just be a new federal holiday granted to federal employees for election day.

The bill is known as the For the People Act of 2019 (H.R. 1) and was introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD). The holidays for federal employees are just a small part of the lengthy legislation which covers a myriad of items such as campaign finance, voter registration, and election security to name a few.

The bill is being pitched by Sarbanes as a measure “to clean up the chaos and corruption Washington.”

“The bold, transformative set of reforms that we introduced today will strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people by making it easier, not harder, to vote, ending the dominance of big money in our politics and ensuring that public officials actually serve the public,” said Sarbanes.

The bill has recently gained notoriety because of criticism from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He called the bill this week a “power grab” and said that Democrats “want taxpayers on the hook for generous new benefits for federal bureaucrats and government employees” in reference to the new holidays the bill would give to the federal workforce.

McConnell’s comments led to no shortage of responses critical of his position. These are just a few of the types of responses tweeted in response to McConnell.

Should federal employees get additional holidays for elections? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.