Sen. Scott Introduces Amendments to Fix Job Training Programs, Restore 40-Hour Work Week

Washington-U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) today introduced two amendments, the first to strengthen job training programs and the second to restore the 40-hour work week destroyed by Obamacare. The amendments were filed as part of debate over a bill (HR 3979) extending temporary emergency unemployment benefits.

“The best way we can help the unemployed is to help them find a job,” Senator Scott said. “We should make sure folks get a hand up, but more importantly see that they have a solid foundation on which to stand.”

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The first amendment is the same as Senator Scott’s SKILLS Act, which he introduced as part of his Opportunity Agenda earlier this year. It provides reforms to modernize the government’s bureaucratic maze of workforce development and training programs. The SKILLS Act specifically aims to help the unemployed and long-term unemployed, underemployed and low-income workers, individuals with disabilities looking for work, and at-risk youth by:

  • Making job training more immediately available.
  • Making the workforce investment system more responsive to the needs of employers.
  • Streamlining 35 separate federal workforce development programs into a single Workforce Investment Fund.

“With four million jobs currently unfilled across our nation, including 65,000 in South Carolina, job skills training is critical for folks looking for employment,” Scott said. “We have to make sure people are prepared for continued success, and that starts with education and workforce training.” The Senator’s second amendment would restore the 40-hour work week that has been unraveled by the provisions of Obamacare.The employer mandate under the federal health law currently requires employers to provide insurance to full time employees and defines “full-time” as 30 hours per week or more. As a result, employers are cutting hours for many employees to fewer than 30 per week. Senator Scott’s amendment would change the definition of full-time employment under Obamacare to 40 hours per week. According to a Hoover Institution study, 2.6 million Americans are especially at risk of having their hours and wages cut as a result of Obamacare’s 30-hour rule. Of that, 59% are between the ages of 19 and 34, 63% are women, and 90% do not have a college degree.Further, families most at risk are those with a median income of $29,126. Scott continued, “When the employer mandate goes into effect next year, many Americans who are earning hourly wages to support their families will see a 25 percent cut in their pay as employers struggle with the massive new costs forced on them by the federal government. Thanks to Obamacare, not only will these workers not have health insurance, but they will no longer have full-time jobs.”

The Senate is expected to votes on HR 3979 this week, although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already signaled he will block all Republican amendments to the legislation.