Obama Becomes New Harry Reid with Latest Veto Threat

Obama Becomes New Harry Reid with Latest Veto Threat

January 7, 2015

Today President Obama’s White House issued a veto threat against the Save American Workers Act, H.R. 30, a bill currently moving through Congress designed to restore the definition of fulltime work from 30 hours a week back to the traditional 40 hours. President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, lowered the standard in order to force employers to provide additional insurance coverage to part-time workers under the law’s employer mandate. American Encore Policy Director Patrick Hedger offered the following analysis:

“This is the second time in as many days that President Obama has threatened to veto legislation with bipartisan support, the first being approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The president, in his 2012 and 2014 pre-election speeches, routinely claimed willingness to work with Congress and sign bills into law that would improve the lives of the American people. Less than a full week into the 114th Congress, this has proven to be just another one of this administration’s destructive charades.

Dozens of bills passed the House, many with bipartisan support including the Save American Workers Act, in the 113th Congress. They were then defeated by the Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate, acting very undemocratic by squashing the opportunity for Senate votes on legislation passed by the people’s House. Now that the GOP controls the Senate, the job of obstructing good government and the will of the American people falls on President Obama, the new Harry Reid.

The Save American Workers Act is designed to protect part-time workers from losing as much as 3 months worth of work and pay every year. Make no mistake; ObamaCare was never going to help these people. Reclassifying the definition of full-time work to 30 hours from 40 hours a week was nothing but a sly way to attempt to legislate a massive increase in the labor costs for employers and shoulder them with much of the financial burden of socialized healthcare, something President Obama and Democrats were too scared to put before taxpayers.

It must be made clear that health benefits are a form of employee compensation. Employee compensation is simply the price that labor charges for services to employers. Therefore, mandating health insurance coverage for workers, especially part-time workers, is the same thing as increasing the price of labor. And as any economist will tell you, when the price of anything goes up people will use less of it.

Thus we have already seen employers cutting part-time employees from 39 hours a week to 29 hours a week, denying these people the equivalent of three-months’ pay a year plus the opportunity to train and gain valuable skills that could help them climb the economic ladder more quickly.

Some claim that re-establishing the 40-hour workweek as full-time would put full-time workers at risk of losing their existing employer-sponsored health insurance if their employers reduce their hours. President Obama’s official veto threat makes this exact claim. This idea stands in absolute opposition to reality, fitting for President Obama.

Employers have voluntarily offered health insurance coverage to millions of Americans for decades. To assume that now they will stop doing so simply because they are forced to by ObamaCare is counterintuitive… unless the president is finally willing to admit that ObamaCare is driving up the price of insurance to a point where employers can no longer afford it.”

***American Encore is an organization dedicated to defending freedom, promoting free markets, working to expand economic opportunity and making the case for the American ideals of liberty and democracy, both at home and abroad. For press, please contact Lisa De Pasquale at [email protected].***


It's Time for an American Encore