Today, President Obama will host a summit on working families that the White House says will focus “on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans.” Trouble is, too many middle-class families aren’t working at all. And those that are lucky enough to have a job are barely getting by with stagnant wages and higher costs on nearly everything.
The House has passed bill after bill to help working families. In a recent guest post on the Speaker’s blog, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), chair of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, highlighted several of these solutions, including legislation allowing private-sector workers the same comp time flexibility as their public-sector counterparts, and more. You can read the full post here.
While House Republicans are focused on expanding opportunity and economic security for middle-class families, President Obama’s policies are only making things harder. Here’s how:
- Driving Up Premiums for 11 Million Small Business Employees. According to the Obama administration’s own CMS actuary, an estimated 11 million small business employees are facing higher premiums because of the president’s health care law.
- Imposing a National Energy Tax that Will Raise Costs & Destroy Jobs. “In the wake of a raft of federal environmental regulations targeting coal that mining employment is now in a ‘free fall,’” the Washington Times reports. Mining jobs have fallen 8.3 percent, according to one industry report, and 75,000 more coal-related jobs are being put at risk by the president’s new EPA regulations, says United Mine Workers of America. The new rules will also send prices skyrocketing for families – as the president promised they would - increasing 10.3 percent, analysis by the American Action Forum shows.
- Slashing Hours for 2.6 Million Americans. The 30-hour rule in the president’s health care law puts 2.6 million Americans earning less than $30,000 a year at risk of having their hours and their wages cut, according to the Hoover Institution. Of that 2.6 million, 63 percent are women, nearly 90 percent do not have a college degree, and 60 percent are young Americans ages 19 to 34. The House passed the Save American Workers Act to restore the 40-hour work week. President Obama threatened to veto the measure and Senate Democrats have refused to take it up.
- Doubling Down on a Minimum Wage Hike that Would Cost Up to One Million Jobs. The president is expected to reiterate his call for an increase in the federal minimum wage today – doubling down on a policy that would destroy up to one million jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
- Blocking More than 100,000 Keystone Jobs. In a scathing op-ed published earlier this year, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) General President Terry O’Sullivan blasted President Obama for blocking the Keystone pipeline – and the more than 100,000 good-paying jobs that would come with it – calling the president’s inaction “gutless” and a “low blow to the working men and women of our country.” Several editorial boards agreed, saying the president’s delay not only “lacks courage,” but constitutes “a toll on working-class Americans who are looking for jobs.”
The House has passed dozens of jobs bills that would make a real difference for working families, the majority of which remain stalled in the Democratic-led Senate. Instead of trying to talk his way around an agenda that is clearly failing middle-class Americans, President Obama ought to fulfill his promise to make this a ‘year of action’ by calling on his party’s leaders to pass them immediately.