Trump gives fed workers Christmas Eve off with pay

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to make Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, a federal holiday.

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The president issued the same executive order, which gives federal workers a day off with pay, in 2018.

"All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, the day before Christmas Day," the order states.

The Grand Foyer of the White House is decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, during a review of the decorations by First Lady Melania Trump. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

The order adds that leadership can determine which offices and employees must stay open despite the holiday "for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need." There are about 2 million government employees in the U.S.

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Presidents typically have not declared Christmas Eve a holiday when it falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday. For example, the last time Christmas Eve fell on a Tuesday, in 2013, President Obama did not issue an executive order to declare the day a federal holiday.

An official at the Office of Personnel Management told Government Executive in 2013 that the decision was "consistent with historical precedent when Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday."

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"The government has remained open on Christmas Eve for six of the last nine times since 1946 that Christmas Day has fallen on a Wednesday," except one year in 2002 when President George W. Bush granted a half-day, the official added.

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