Rep. Kelly Co-Hosts Special Order on ‘Save American Workers Act' on House Floor

- .S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – co-hosted a Special Order on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, along with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN). The legislation would repeal the 30-hour definition of “full-time employment” in the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and restore the traditional 40-hour definition. Rep. Kelly is one of three original co-sponsors of this bill.

Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s remarks:

“H.R. 2575 is really something that I think [would be more common] perhaps if more of us who serve in this body were actually people who experienced what it was like to be in the private sector.”

“I was very fortunate to have a family business, and I can tell you that from an employer’s standpoint, one of the greatest thrills you have in your life is to sit across the desk from somebody who has come in and applied for a job and to be able to say to him, ‘You’re hired.’ … You can see in their eyes at that moment that they look at this opportunity as… ‘My goodness, now I can put a roof over the head of my family; I can put food on the table; I can put clothes on their back; and I can plan for a future.’ Now why in the world would we all of a sudden say, ‘You know what? We’re going to change that dynamic, because it’s no longer going to be a 40 hour week—we’re going to dial back to 30 hours’?”

“How did anybody come up with those numbers? Why would they come up with those numbers, and what is the benefit of those numbers? The answer is, it helps make the Affordable Care Act work. It doesn’t help America work. It helps a piece of flawed legislation work. It’s about the dynamics of the math; it’s not about the dynamics of allowing men and women to go to work to be able to go home at night and say, ‘I went to work today for you. I went to work to make your life better.’”

“The 30-hour rule puts 2.6 million workers with a median income of under $30,000 at risk for losing jobs or hours. Eight-nine percent of these workers impacted by the rule do not have a college degree. Sixty three percent of these folks are women, and over half have a high school diploma or less.”

“When I look back at my district, District 3 in Pennsylvania: hardworking, good American people. I have no idea how they’re registered. I have no idea how they vote. I have no idea what they think about at night or what they pray for at night before they lay their head on the pillow. But I do know … the blood that courses through their veins is pretty much the same. They believe in America. They believe in paying their fair share. They believe in lifting the load and helping out.”

“Barb Wilson works for the ARC in Mercer County Pennsylvania. This is a phenomenal organization that assists people with developmental disabilities. Barb is a part-time employee who used to work 30 to 35 hours a week. Her employer recently informed her and her co-workers that all part-time employees would be having their hours cut to around just 20 hours a week because of [Obamacare]’s employer mandate. Barb tells me that she was ‘shocked’ when she heard this news, and because of her hours being cut she said she will no longer be able to afford the cost of living.”

“I have people that come up to me and say, ‘You can use my story by you can’t use my name.’ Now that is a very chilling effect to think that in this country, in the United States of America, that people are afraid to be identified with their story because they are afraid of a retribution from the government. That is just totally unacceptable.”

“One of those people is in the fast food business. … In 2012, 993 employees [of this business] worked more than 30 hours per week. … Now all of these employees have had their hours cut to less than 30 hours. On top of that, more than 30 employees have had access to their health insurance plans ended. Even though their plans made sense for them, they did not meet Obamacare standards, so the company could not afford to keep them. This doesn’t make any sense. In a time when we’re looking to get America to work, when we want to increase jobs, why would we make it harder for those people to accomplish those goals? It just doesn’t make sense.”

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