Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter
Christmas just got a little longer for federal employees thanks to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump Tuesday night that excuses them from working Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve falls on a Monday in 2018, so federal workers will get a four-day weekend to celebrate the holiday as the possibility of a government shutdown looms, reported WTOP. Giving federal workers a reprieve when Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday is the norm, according to WTOP.
Trumps executive order also ensures that agency and department heads still have authority to determine if any employees need to work on Christmas Eve “for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”
The federal government employs more than 2 million people full time excluding U.S. Postal Service employees, according to Governing.com. Roughly 80 percent of them work outside of the Washington, D.C., region. (RELATED: Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff Is Writing A Spy Movie Script)
Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush granted federal employees four-day weekends in 2012, 2007 and 2001, according to WTOP.
Meanwhile, Congress has days to avoid a partial government shutdown after a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government expires Friday. At the center of the funding battle is the border wall Trump wants to build.
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd from right) argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The White House previously demanded $5 billion in border wall funding, an amount Democratic lawmakers said they would not give. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders seemed to indicate the Trump administration would be more willing to budge on the $5 billion figure than previously thought, during a Fox News interview Tuesday.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump said on Dec. 11 during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
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