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Protecting American workers and their paychecks



Every day, I hear from hardworking people in Central Washington who are struggling to support their families and put food on the table. At a time when three-quarters of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, the Obama Administration is imposing a new nationwide mandate that could cause millions of workers to see their hours cut and their take-home pay slashed.

The Obamacare law requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance to all of their full-time employees. Buried deep within the thousands of pages of new government regulations is a provision that redefines “full-time employment” as only 30 hours per week, instead of the traditional 40-hour work-week.

The fact of the matter is, many of our nation’s job creators simply cannot afford to purchase health insurance – now mandated by the federal government – for all of their employees who work more than 30 hours each week. As a result, many employers are being forced to reduce their workforce to fewer than 50 employees or reduce the number of hours their employees work. Consequently, Americans across the nation are beginning to see their take-home pay cut by as much as 25 percent, making it difficult to support themselves and their families.

There are 7.2 million Americans working part-time for economic reasons. According to a study by the Hoover Institution, the number of part-time employees is expected to grow to nearly 10 million because of the 30-hour rule, leaving even more workers with a smaller paycheck – income that is necessary to spur economic growth.

The Obama Administration talks about wanting to address income inequality. Sadly, it appears that the very people this Administration seeks to help are the people who will be most impacted by these pay cuts.

President Obama’s 30-hour rule is hurting hourly farm workers in Central Washington who are trying to support themselves and their families. It is hurting young, often entry-level workers who are trying to save for college or buy their first home. And an overwhelming majority of those hurt by the President’s 30-hour rule are women, including single mothers trying to support their children.

This week, the House of Representatives took an important step to protect millions of working-class families across the country from seeing their hours cut by the Obama Administration. I joined my colleagues in passing the “Save American Workers Act,” which repeals the 30-hour definition of “full-time employment” and restores the traditional 40-hour definition for the purposes of the employer health care mandate.

This bipartisan legislation, which I’m proud to co-sponsor, will provide much-needed relief to those who have specifically been impacted by this 30-hour rule. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this commonsense solution, which is critical to getting Americans working again and keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.

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