Full Text Political Headlines August 3, 2013: Sen. Susan Collins on How Obamacare Will Impact Jobs



GOP Weekly Address: Sen. Collins on How Obamacare Will Impact Jobs

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-3-13

US Senate

In this week’s Republican address, Sen. Susan Collins warns workers about the potential impact of Obamacare on their jobs and wages.  Under the Affordable Care Act, she says, anyone working an average of 30 hours a week is considered a full-time employee, which means many employers may cut employees’ hours….READ MORE

Read the full text of this week’s Republican address:

“Hello.  I’m Senator Susan Collins from Maine.

“My family founded a small business in northern Maine more than 160 years ago.  Today, it continues to be run by two of my brothers.

“Our economy is built on millions of enterprises just like ours.  It’s not easy to survive in today’s economy.  But these employers remain our nation’s job creators.  We should be doing all we can to promote policies to help them survive and thrive.

“Effective health-care reform should provide Americans with access to quality and affordable care while also encouraging economic growth.  That’s not what is happening under Obamacare.

“Instead, Obamacare is actually discouraging small businesses from creating jobs and hiring new employees.  The law also has perverse incentives for employers to reduce the number of hours that their employees can work.

“While most small business owners want to provide health insurance for their employees, many simply cannot afford to under Obamacare.  Yet, even struggling businesses with 50 or more “full-time” employees will be required to provide health insurance or face huge fines for each employee.  If you employ 49 workers, there are no fines.  But, if you add just one more employee, you’re hit with penalties.

“These enormous penalties are a real threat to employers who want to add jobs.  They are a powerful incentive for employers to refrain from hiring additional workers.  Even worse, under Obamacare, anyone working an average of just 30 hours a week is considered “full-time.”  This will only cause some businesses to reluctantly reduce the hours of their workers to fewer than 30 hours per week.

“And, it’s not just the private sector that is affected.  Let me give you an example.  A school system in my state of Maine is already preparing to track and cap the number of hours that substitute teachers can work to ensure that they don’t work more than 29 hours a week.  Fewer hours means less money in the teachers’ paychecks and more disruption for their students.

“Recently, labor leaders, led by Teamsters President James Hoffa, warned that Obamacare will – and I quote – destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class. – end quote –.

“They are right to be worried:  In the past, most new jobs were full-time.  But, this year, the overwhelming majority of new jobs are part-time.

“Under this troubling trend, more workers will find their hours and their earnings reduced.  Jobs will be lost.  This is especially disturbing as our country is still battling high unemployment.

“A study published by the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, underscores the danger. That study found that 10 million American workers are vulnerable to having their hours cut as a direct result of Obamacare.  10 million workers!  And the most vulnerable are lower-income employees.

“In an effort to protect these millions of workers, I’ve introduced a bipartisan bill called the “Forty Hours is Full Time Act.” My bill would change the definition of “full-time employee” in Obamacare from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week.  A 40-hour work week is full-time; we all know that.  This bill is just common sense.

“Now, the Obama Administration has announced that it is delaying enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015. But, the fact is, the law remains in place and continues to discourage new jobs and full-time work.

“Of course, fixing this one flaw won’t solve the countless problems caused by Obamacare.  But it would help ensure that millions of American workers do not have their hours, and their paychecks, reduced.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy. The last thing we need is yet another obstacle to helping them grow and create much-needed jobs.”


Political Headlines December 31, 2012: Sens. Joe Lieberman & Susan Collins: Senate Report on Benghazi Libya Attack Faults State Department





Senate Report on Benghazi Attack Faults State Department

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-31-12

Click here to read the full report.

The chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Monday repeated calls for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify in front of Congress on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and called for additional accountability from the State Department.

Monday morning the committee released a new report from a congressional probe which concludes that the system was “flashing red” in Benghazi, amid a “rising crescendo of evidence” from the U.S. intelligence community that Benghazi had become “dangerous and unstable, and that a significant attack against American personnel there was becoming more and more likely.”….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines December 31, 2012: Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi — Senators Lieberman, Collins Release Report on Benghazi Security Considerations





Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi

Senators Lieberman, Collins Release Report on Benghazi Security Considerations

Source: Collins.Senate.gov, 12-31-12

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, today released their final, bipartisan work product together, a report on the security deficiencies at the temporary U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the terrorist attack in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

The report, Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi, determined there was a high risk of a “significant” terrorist attack on U.S. employees and facilities in Benghazi in the months before the September 11, 2012 assault on the Mission, and the State Department failed to take adequate steps to reduce the Mission’s vulnerability.

The report found that, while there was an absence of specific intelligence about an imminent attack, this “should not have prevented the Department of State from taking more effective steps to protect its personnel and facilities in Benghazi.”

The report also found that, “prior to the terrorist attacks in Libya on September 11, 2012, it was widely understood that the Libyan government was incapable of performing its duty to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel, as required by longstanding international agreements, but the Department of State failed to take adequate steps to fill the resulting security gap, or to invest in upgrading the Libyan security forces.”

“U.S. and Western diplomats, and other personnel operating in the Middle East and other countries where these terrorists use violence to further their religious extremist agenda and thwart democratic reforms are increasingly at risk,” the report concludes. “We hope this report will help contribute to the ongoing discussion that our nation must have about how best to protect the brave men and women who serve our country abroad and how to win this war that will continue for years to come.”

Read the full report here.

Political Headlines November 28, 2012: Susan Rice Gains Little Ground on Day 2 With Skeptical Republican Senators





Susan Rice Gains Little Ground on Day 2 With Skeptical Senators

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-28-12

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Day two of Susan Rice’s charm offensive on Capitol Hill brought little support for the U.N. ambassador to become the next secretary of state if nominated by President Obama.

After meeting privately with Rice Wednesday morning, moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she still had questions about the embassy attack in Libya that “remain troubling” and needed to be answered before she can support Rice for secretary of state….READ MORE

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