The Enzi Update - March NewsletterSenators want to restore full-time employment to 40 hours, rescue small businesses from health care mandate
As the economy struggles to create jobs, business owners and employees must confront the reality of President Obama’s health care law: more regulations and policies that are increasing costs and forcing businesses to either lay off workers or not hire new workers. Senator Mike Enzi, with Senator John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., and others introduced legislation to provide relief for firms that are at the core of the American economy from the onerous federal overreaches in the health care law. The Small Business Fairness in Health Care Act, S.2205, would restore the definition of “full-time” work under the health care law to 40 hours a week and exempt more small businesses from the employer mandate.
The senators said the health care law is full of bad policies that are leading to countless unintended consequences, including less hours for employees and employers not hiring. These one-size-fits-all regulations are hitting workers in their pocketbooks and undercutting the country’s economic recovery, according to the senators.
The senators’ legislation would provide greater clarity and flexibility for small businesses under health care law by repealing the 30 hours per week standard imposed by the health care law and replace it with a 40 hour per week standard for classifying “full-time equivalents.” The bill would also protect companies that have traditionally been counted as small businesses by expanding the scope of the exception in the employer mandate to account for any small business that is defined as a “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.
Enzi advocates more scrutiny of EPA rule making
The Administration's current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking seems designed more to improve the political environment for President Obama’s allies than it is actually improving the environment. According to Enzi, the EPA is constantly overstepping it's bounds and as one of the most rampant job-killing bureaucracies our country has ever seen this agency needs to be put in check.
“I’m cosponsoring an amendment authored by Senator John Thune that would stop the EPA from finalizing greenhouse gas regulations on new and existing power plants if those regulations would destroy jobs or raise energy prices,” Enzi said.
Enzi is also cosponsoring another Thune, R-S.D., amendment that would hold the EPA accountable to taxpayers by increasing Congressional oversight of costly regulations. Thune’s amendment would require Congress to vote on any EPA regulation with costs greater than $50 million per year before that regulation could take effect.
Another measure Enzi cosponsored is a bill introduced by Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., that would block the EPA from finalizing any new major regulation until the agency analyzes the economic impact of its current air regulations.
Stop Washington from wrestling education from states
Enzi joined fellow Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and nine others in sending a letter to Senate appropriators asking for language that would prohibit federal interference in states setting academic content standards.
"I’ve long been concerned the Obama Administration is using federal education funding, like the Race to the Top Program, to coerce states to accept Common Core standards.” Enzi said.
End Proposed Rule Designed To Stifle Free Speech
Enzi joined 11 Republicans of the Senate Finance Committee to call on the IRS to end the Obama Administration’s proposed regulation designed to stifle the free speech of groups that have criticized the White House.
Last November, the IRS proposed new regulations that would fundamentally alter the nature of the activities that these organizations can engage in, limiting their speech and effectively forcing grassroots organizations across the country to shut down.
Senators ask for accounting of Park Services Spending
Perhaps the National Park Service could whittle down its $11.5 billion maintenance backlog by finding administrative savings, better utilizing its recreational fee program or some other method.
That’s what Enzi, along with Senators Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, wrote to the Government Accountability Office and asked it to conduct a formal review of the National Park Service’s administrative structure and spending habits.
"We’ve never been able to tell where all the money is really going. This review should give us a good idea,” said Enzi