THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

For Immediate Release:

April 2, 2014

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

**Members are advised that following last votes, the House will consider the first 70 minutes of debate on H.R. 2575.  The House is expected complete debate and vote on passage of the bill on Thursday.

H.Res. 530 – Rule providing for consideration H.R. 2575 – “Sabotage American Workers Act of 2014” (Rep. Young (IN) – Ways and Means) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for three hours of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions.

The Rule also waives all points of order against H.R. 2575. According to the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 2575 would add nearly $74 billion to the deficit. The fact that this bill is coming to the Floor without an offset is a clear violation of Republican Floor protocols, and repeated promises that were made by the GOP Leadership.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts to consider H.R. 2575 under an open Rule. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Begin Consideration of H.R. 2575 Sabotage American Workers Act of 2014” (Rep. Young (IN) – Ways and Means) (Three Hours of Debate). This bill would modify the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of full-time employee, repealing the 30 hours a week threshold and replacing it with 40 hours a week, and it would increase the deficit by nearly $74 billion.

Under the ACA’s employer responsibility provisions, employees who work at least 30 hours per week are defined as full-time and are counted towards the 50-employee threshold for requiring businesses to offer affordable health coverage. Use of a 30 hour threshold in the ACA was designed to minimize shifting and gamesmanship. According to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, recent studies provide little evidence that the ACA has created an incentive to significantly shift toward part-time work. Businesses either operate with a substantially part-time work force, or they use mostly full-time workers.  Most employers do not fully retool their business practices and cut full-time employees down to 29 hours just to avoid the coverage requirement.

By replacing the 30 hour threshold with a 40 hour threshold, employers would become greatly incentivized to “game” the law, easily shifting the 43% of employees nationwide who work 40 hours a week to part-time employees who only work 39 hours.  This new “part-time” employee model would completely undermine the intent of the employer responsibility provisions, and, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), would cause as many as 1 million Americans to lose access to employer provided health coverage and almost 500,000 to become uninsured. 

Those that could get coverage would have to rely on other federal programs, like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Additionally, it is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that enactment of this measure would increase the deficit by $73.7 billion over 10 years, and Republicans have chosen to bring the bill to the Floor without providing an offset.  Lastly, the White House has issued a SAP stating that the President would veto this bill.

Positive effects of the Affordable Care Act are already being seen across the country; millions of Americans now have health insurance, people cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, women cannot be charged more for the same care, and cost growth is at the lowest it has been in 50 years.  However, Republicans have made it clear time and again that repealing the Affordable Care Act is their only goal; this attempt marks the 52nd time that Republicans have tried to repeal or undermine the law. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 2575:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 2575:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, April 3: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 2575 – “Sabotage American Workers Act of 2014” (Rep. Young (IN) – Ways and Means).

 
The Daily Quote

“Rep. Paul Ryan’s Republican budget provides plenty of lines of partisan engagement this election year, including its call for a ‘full’ repeal of the Affordable Care Act, its embrace of a form of ‘dynamic’ fiscal scoring, and its revival of the battle over turning the Medicare system into a voucher-like program. This austere plan is to be formally adopted by Ryan’s Budget Committee on Wednesday. But to achieve its envisioned cut of about $5.1 trillion in spending and a balanced budget by 2024, the document includes what appear to be a number of merely philosophical, aspirational, and even fantastical underpinnings. The reality is that no one expects this budget document that pushes higher defense spending—and cuts and changes to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social safety-net programs—really has any chance of becoming law. The Senate won’t take it up… Even Ryan admits that the proposal has no practical impact right now…”

-    National Journal, 4/1/2014