This week I had the privilege of joining my colleague Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-02) for a panel discussion at the third Annual Poverty Summit led by Catholic Charities USA. The summit brings local community leaders and policy makers together for a discussion about ways to end poverty in the United States.
Though Jim and I have very different ideas on how to combat the war on poverty, our desire to help those in need comes from the heart. I recognize the poverty crisis plaguing our country isn’t about numbers, graphs or charts. It’s about real people in our local communities who are living paycheck to paycheck, who aren’t able to do for themselves or are trapped in a cycle of dependency and despair that they are unable to escape. We have spent billions on poverty programs in America, yet people still go hungry.
We need to modernize our government programs to better serve those in need while promoting the dignity of work and equipping our citizens with the necessary tools to become self-sufficient. Jobs and the economy are at the forefront of this poverty crisis affecting our nation, and I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to revitalize our workforce through stable, high-skilled jobs to help lift our families out of poverty. Every day, I hear from constituents who write, call or stop by my office, and the questions I hear the most are, “What are you doing to create jobs? What are you doing to help me get a job? What are you doing to get our economy back on track?”
Last week, the House passed the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) to repeal Obamacare’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment and replace it with 40 hours. After four years and over 30 unilateral changes, Obamacare continues to wreak havoc on our healthcare system, our businesses and our economy. On top of increasing healthcare costs, this law is forcing businesses to slash hours, creating a part-time economy and leaving our families struggling to make ends meet. Because of Obamacare’s 30-hour rule, 2.6 million Americans making under $30,000 a year are at increased risk of having their hours and wages cut. The uncertainty and frustration that this law creates are unacceptable. Because of Obamacare, small businesses are stuck with the tough decision to cut employee hours to stay afloat and mitigate job-killing mandates and red-tape. This bill will provide Americans relief by repealing the 30-hour rule, reducing Obamacare’s burden on our employers while increasing hours, take-home pay and economic security for our workers. I will continue to fight to protect my constituents from the harmful effects this terrible law.
We know that for the millions of job-seekers, the small businesses straining under the weight of regulations, and the families living pay-check to pay-check, the economic crisis facing our nation is all too real. Our federal government is saddled under more than $17 trillion of debt and headed in the wrong direction. But Washington continues to run on auto-pilot towards a cliff of fiscal and economic disaster. Every dollar and cent spent frivolously by our bloated bureaucracy is a dollar and cent taken from our hard-working taxpayers.
Last week, House Republicans offered our budget plan — a plan that grows the economy instead of the government and offers real solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. This budget steers our country towards a path of prosperity for the long-term by reducing spending by $5.1 trillion and reforming the drivers of our debt. Conservatives realize that to be responsible stewards of your tax dollars, Washington can’t continue to spend money it doesn’t have.
While Washington Democrats fail to offer a budget year after year — much less a budget that balances — this budget will balance in 10 years. Further, our budget will make an immediate impact on jobs and wages by reforming our broken, overly complex tax code and repealing the President’s job-killing health care law. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass a responsible, balanced budget that cuts spending, reduces taxes and provides economic security for our families. I came to Washington to fight for our families and businesses, not bureaucrats and politicians. I know that the hardworking men and women who spend each day working and responsibly budgeting for their families expect the same amount of fiscal responsibility and accountability from their government.
We owe the American people a brighter future with good jobs, stable wages and economic security.