By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, January 8, 2015 Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) urged the Congress to support a full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare. Rep. Byrne’s comments before the full House were made in support of legislation to restore the 40 hour workweek. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) also released a statement in support of the legislation, H.R. 30 – the Save the American Worker Act.
Obamacare defined a full time job as 30 hours. Employers who did not want to come under the burden of Obamacare have slashed many employees to no more than 28 hours so they will be part time workers. This has greatly increased the number of working Americans who make low wages. H.R. 30 if passed into law would change that 30 hour a week rule back to 40 hours. At the end of this year the employer mandate will go into effect affecting many more Americans leading to fears that more workers will see their hours slashed in coming months unless Congress and the administration act to change the law.
Congressman Byrne said, “Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your leadership on this very important issue, and I support this bill. In fact, just this morning I was reading your op-ed from USA Today, which makes a great point.”
Congressman Mo Brooks said in a written statement on Facebook, “The House just passed the Save The American Workers Act, which I cosponsored, to restore the definition of a full-time worker under ObamaCare from 30 hours to 40 hours. This important, bipartisan legislation replaces an especially egregious portion of the President’s healthcare law that is putting nearly 2.6 million American workers at risk. While I remain committed to repealing ObamaCare in full, I’m pleased the House is making it a priority to address this flawed law.”
Byrne continued, “This law cannot be fixed. It is beyond repair. No quick legislative fix can make this law work for the countless American families who have already been negatively impacted including people in my district.”
Representative Byrne told his fellow Congress members, “Last November, the American people spoke loud and clear. They want to see bold legislative action that pushes back against the failed policies of this President. I support this bill, but I want to do more. We must do more. I look forward to working with the Chairman and the leadership of the House to move forward with a full repeal of this failed law.”
Speaker John Boehner wrote in a statement, “When middle-class Americans can’t work a full, 40-hour work week because of the president’s health care law, they can’t provide for their families, pay their bills, or get ahead in a tight economy. Todd Young’s bill will help the thousands of Americans who either have, or are at risk of having, their wages and hours cut by repealing the 30-hour rule in ObamaCare – a rule that hurts low-income workers and women the most. The president’s threat to veto this commonsense legislation, rather than work toward bipartisan solutions to help middle-class families, is a sad commentary on where his priorities lie. House Republicans will continue putting Americans’ priorities first, and the president ought to reconsider his opposition to this bill and start doing the same.”
H.R. 30 passed the House by a vote of 252 to 172. According to Byrne’s office, the legislation is supported by many national and state associations including the Associated Builders and Contractors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance, the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
The bill now goes on to the Senate where it will be an early test of the new Republican majority there. If it passes the Senate, the bill faces an unlikely fate on President Obama’s desk.