Hire More Heroes Act of 2015by Representative Rodney Davis
Posted on 2015-01-06
DAVIS of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I thank you for this
opportunity today. Chairman Ryan, my colleague from the great State of
Michigan, I thank you for your support for this piece of legislation.
Earlier today, a new Congress was sworn in, each of us swearing to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. A new Congress is another opportunity to do the people's work, to further the ideas and priorities of our constituents and put our Nation on solid footing for an even brighter future.
I am honored that this 114th Congress is opening with the Hire More Heroes Act, a bill that I have introduced and an idea that didn't come from Washington, D.C. It began with a constituent of mine, Brad Lavite, who is actually up in the gallery today. Brad had this idea, and as a superintendent of the Madison County Veterans' Assistance Commission, I am proud to have him here today to see the culmination of what that idea has turned into and the bipartisan support that you see for this idea on the floor of the House today.
Brad helps the nearly 35,000 veterans living in Madison County navigate the VA system and actually find other resources, including helping our veterans find employment. After explaining ObamaCare to veterans throughout southwestern Illinois and how it impacts their VA health benefits, he began wondering why they were subject to the employer mandate if they were not even in need of health care coverage. Brad raised his concern with me at one of our veterans advisory board meetings, and shortly thereafter we began work on the Hire More Heroes Act.
This bill will help businesses hire more of our Nation's veterans by making a commonsense change to ObamaCare. In just a few months, the President's health care law will mark its fifth anniversary; 5 years of delays, canceled policies, costly Web site glitches, and increased out- of-pocket expenses for hardworking middle class families. Unfortunately, the law's problems don't end there. We continue to see its lingering impact on our economy as many small businesses delay hiring, cut hours, and, in some cases, reduce payroll. In fact, the National Small Business Association found that 91 percent of small businesses have seen increases in their health care costs, and two- thirds of their members listed ObamaCare as a reason for holding off on investing in people. And, Madam Speaker, I must remind everybody that investing in people is how we create jobs here in America.
The Hire More Heroes Act exempts veterans already enrolled in their own health care plans through the Department of Defense or through the VA from being counted toward the 50-employee limit as part of the employer mandate required under ObamaCare. By making this commonsense change to the law, we will not only provide small businesses with much- needed relief, but also help more of our veterans find work.
Despite receiving some of the best training in the world, post-9/11 veterans are consistently faced with higher unemployment rates than that of other veterans. So as more and more of our veterans return home, the Hire More Heroes Act will give those who have sacrificed and served our country a leg up in a very competitive job market. Last Congress, this legislation passed this House overwhelmingly by a count of 406-1, almost as bipartisan as you can get, but it was held up in the Senate.
The Hire More Heroes Act is just one example of the bipartisan bills that the House will bring up this Congress. Later this week, we will further the American people's call for greater energy independence and job creation by voting to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and by helping Americans by restoring the 40-hour workweek under ObamaCare. With a new Congress, and [[Page H31]] if the President is willing to work with us, we have an opportunity to end the stagnation in Washington and make our government work for the people again.
I ask all of my colleagues to defend the oath that they have just taken and help hire more of our heroes by voting ``yes'' on this piece of legislation.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to avoid references to occupants in the gallery.