WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the following statement after voting to pass two bills that would repeal job-killing provisions of the president’s healthcare law out of the House Ways and Means Committee.
"The healthcare law drastically changed the definition of full-time work from 40 hours to 30 hours per week, causing businesses to reduce employee hours to avoid costs and fines associated with these employer mandate rules. H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2013 would restore the 40 hour work week, and H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act ensures that volunteer fire companies are not subject to the requirements and fines under the law’s employer mandate."
“Due to the healthcare law’s 30-hour rule, businesses are stopping hiring or seriously reducing employee hours, hurting millions of Americans who rely on those hourly wages to support their families in an already tough economy,” said Roskam. “The Hoover Institution estimates 2.6 million Americans making under $30,000 a year will be hit hardest by reduced hours due to Obamacare’s new rules. At a time when too many Americans are unemployed or underemployed, we must do everything possible to protect worker’s jobs and wages from the unintended consequences of Obamacare.”
“The residents of Glen Ellyn rely on their volunteer firefighters to protect them. A damaging component contained in Obamacare would require our volunteers to be counted as full time employees under the Act. This would force us to reduce the size of our Department, which could lead to understaffing vehicles and increased response times,” said Jim Bodony, fire chief at Glen Ellyn Fire Department. “In addition, the financial impact could greatly affect our service levels. The action taken by Congressman Roskam will change that rule so we can continue to provide the citizens of Glen Ellyn with a fully functioning, well staffed fire department.”
H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act: In Obamacare, volunteer firefighters are considered full-time employees if they work over 30 hours a week. This forces many fire departments to comply with the employer mandate, providing full health insurance benefits for all their employees or face a fine of $2,000 per volunteer fire fighter. Fire Departments, already strapped for funds, could face tens of thousands of dollars each year in fines instead of using those resources to respond to life-threatening situations. The Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act would permanently change the law to protect volunteer fire departments, which should never have been subject to these burdensome rules in the first place.
H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2013: Under Obamacare’s 30-hour rule, businesses must stop hiring or maintaining full-time workers or face new rules, costs and penalties. American wage-earners will see their hours decrease drastically, losing thousands of dollars annually in take-home pay because of this regulation. The retail, restaurant and education industries will be hit the hardest—impacting thousands of the very Americans who can least afford it. The Save American Workers Act of 2013 will push Obamacare’s 30-hour rule back to 40 hours to protect Americans earning hourly wages from the damaging new costs of Obamacare.