The Hill: Alexander vows to fight Obama’s policies that are ‘hurting’ US workers

Posted on September 16, 2013

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Monday that President Obama’s policies — including ObamaCare — are “hurting American workers.”

Alexander, the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, made his comments after Obama delivered an economic speech Monday. Obama criticized Republicans for creating “economic chaos” by threatening to let the government shut down unless ObamaCare is defunded.

“The president’s policies are hurting American workers,” Alexander said. “Today, 7.3 percent of Americans qualify as unemployed, while millions more have taken part-time work because that is all they can find, and so many have given up searching for work entirely that the rate of workers participating in the job market is at its lowest since Jimmy Carter was president.”

Republicans have blamed ObamaCare’s employer mandate — requiring businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance or face a fine — for underemployment and reduced hours. Alexander also criticized Obama for encouraging Congress to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to at least $10 an hour. 

“Employers are cutting hours and payrolls to survive ObamaCare, and the president’s latest push for a massive increase in the minimum wage will only destroy opportunities for the young and the low-skilled in order to pay fewer people more money,” Alexander said.

Alexander vowed to continue to fight the healthcare law, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

“I am committed to finding a better way by creating an environment in which we can grow the largest number of good new jobs by reducing costs and regulations on businesses, repealing the job-destroying health care law, and encouraging employers to expand their businesses in America, instead of punishing them with policies that satisfy big labor bosses and destroy jobs,” Alexander said.

Democrats point out that the law is already benefiting those with preexisting conditions who can’t be denied coverage, people younger than 26 who can stay on a parent’s insurance plan and women who now pay less for preventive healthcare.