Levin Floor Statement on H.R. 30, “Sabotage American Workers Act”

Jan 8, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 30, the “Sabotage American Workers Act:”

Republicans say that with this bill they are trying to help or “save” workers. But their legislation would make many, many times more workers part-time, losing millions of hours of work.

The Republicans constantly talk about the threat of increased budget deficits, but their bill would increase the deficit by over $50 billion.

The Republicans like to say they care about the taxes people pay, but this bill would substantially shift responsibility for paying for health insurance from employers to taxpayers.

These are indisputable facts, based on yesterday’s analysis from the non-partisan CBO and JCT.

Today, 7% of workers work between 30 and 34 hours, while close to half work 40 hours. So if you shift the basis of employer responsibility for health care to begin at 40 hours instead of 30 hours, the result will be a dramatic increase in the number of workers whose hours of employment will be reduced to less than 40 per week. You will be creating hundreds of thousands of “39ers.”

CBO and JCT conclude, therefore, that about one million workers will lose their employer-based health insurance, with half of them shifting to insurance coverage through the health exchanges or through Medicaid with taxpayer support, and the other half losing health insurance coverage completely.

So when you take off the label of this Republican bill and look at the contents in the package, this is a bad deal – highlighting the need for a truth in labeling requirement for Congressional bills.

And when you go beyond the benign Republican rhetoric, this is a bad deal for American workers and the middle class—and taxpayers.

That has led even a conservative like Yuval Levin to say that today’s bill “is worse than doing nothing.”

This bill is brought up today without any Committee consideration or discussion with Democrats. Unfortunately, contrary to the rhetoric we heard yesterday again from the majority about the need to look for common ground, on this issue the Republican approach is scorched earth.