Every Wage Earner Deserves a Chance to Live the American Dream

Posted by Nick Marcelli on


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave the following remarks on the House floor in support of the Save American Workers Act:

"Mr. Speaker, thank you and I thank the gentleman from Indiana for his leadership on bringing this bill forward, the Save American Workers Act.I rise today in support of the Save American Workers Act.

"Every American worker deserves a fair shot at climbing the economic ladder of success, and every wage earner deserves a chance to live the American Dream. However, over the past few months we have watched the President’s health care law wreak havoc on working families and squeeze the middle class who already struggle to make ends meet.

"As we all know, millions of people have seen their premiums and deductibles go up under the President’s health care law, while others have been forced off the very plans they were promised they could keep. But that’s not the full picture.

"Because of the 30 hour work-week provision in Obamacare, wage earners could see their hours reduced, resulting in a 25% cut to their pay. Now, let me just take a moment to explain exactly who might see their paychecks shrink.

"According to a study by the Hoover Institution, there are 2.6 million Americans especially at risk of having their wages cut. Of those 2.6 million, 59% are younger workers between the ages of 18-34, many who may be trying to save for college or for their first home; 63% are women, many of them single moms trying to support their children. The median household income for families most at risk of harm under this ObamaCare regulation is just over $29,000. That's the median household income at most at risk.

"The bottom line is this – the workers most affected by these cuts are those who earn the least. For someone who currently earns $10 an hour and works 40 hours a week, being cut to 29 hours means a loss of $110 each and every week. Three out of four Americans are already claiming they're living paycheck to paycheck. A 25% cut to their income would have a devastating effect. This is not how America should work.

"While this rule will impact Americans in all different industries, those who are most likely to be affected work in retail, restaurants, manufacturing and even America's education sector.

"In my hometown of Richmond, many school districts have begun to limit part time workers to less than 30 hours a week to avoid added costs imposed by the advent of this health care law that would thus strain their budgets.

"A substitute teacher named Amy, from Chesterfield County, Virginia, was asked by the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the burdens of this rule under ObamaCare. She said 'The people it is going to affect are the people that need or want to work every single day.' So why is the government punishing those who are looking to earn an honest wage?

"This Administration believes they can hide the reality of the wage cuts with an increase in the minimum wage. But that proposal which the non-partisan experts say will result in 500,000 lost jobs is not the answer. The answer is: restore the 40 hour work week and let people work.

"We have known for a long time that the President's health care law is broken. But now it's beginning to break the banks of American workers. Our constituents don't deserve this broken law or more broken promises. They deserve a fair shot at success without the government standing in the way.

"Today, we have an opportunity to unclench this middle class squeeze and restore the 40 hour work-week so that wage earners don't have to worry about smaller paychecks. Let's stand together in a bipartisan fashion and take a big step towards creating an America that works again and works again for everyone.

"I would like to thank Chairman Camp, Representative Young, and the rest of the Ways and Means Committee for their hard work on this issue, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support working families by passing this legislation."

GOP Health Care Reforms