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Jackson Cit Pat: Congress keeping busy despite numerous veto threats from President Obama

January 30, 2015
Opinion Editorial
The new Congress is less than one month old, and President Obama has already issued eight veto threats, including before some legislation even received an up or down vote.

That number represents the most threats to start a new Congress since 1985 when the practice of issuing formal veto threats began.

The history-making doesn't stop there. President Obama also made more specific veto threats in his recent State of the Union address than any such address since World War II.

These actions completely miss the resounding message the American people sent last November: they reject the President's my-way-or-the-highway approach and expect us to solve problems in a bipartisan fashion.

Despite the president's obstruction, that's exactly what the House of Representatives has done to start the New Year.

After being sworn in, we immediately got to work voting on legislation to boost economic growth, provide relief from Obamacare, increase America's energy security, and create more job opportunities for veterans.

The Hire More Heroes Act, which incentivizes small businesses to hire more of our nation's veterans, was the first piece of legislation to pass the new Congress.

The bill exempts veterans who already receive health-care benefits from TRICARE or the Department of Veterans Affairs from counting toward Obamacare's employee mandate, removing the threat of additional penalties.

Another pro-jobs bill from the first week of the new Congress was the Save American Workers Act to restore the traditional 40-hour work week under the president's health-care law.

Obamacare's current definition of full-time employment - 30 hours - is lowering take-home pay for hourly workers and providing uncertainty for small businesses.

For generations, Michigan workers have relied on the 40-hour work week to support their family and cutting back their hours is one of Obamacare's many negative consequences that needs to be reformed. 

We also passed legislation to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will create an estimated 42,000 jobs and reduce America's dependence on energy from volatile regions of the world.

The State Department conducted five extensive reviews over a span of six years and found construction of the pipeline is in the best interests of our economy and environment.

And after the Nebraska Supreme Court recently threw out a lawsuit challenging the pipeline's route in the state, the president lost his final excuse to continue his foot-dragging.

Rolling back burdensome federal regulations that lower wages, stifle innovation, and make America less competitive is another priority of the new Congress.

The Regulatory Accountability Act addresses the problem of overreaching, excessive regulations by requiring federal bureaucrats to implement the law in the least costly and most efficient way.

The annual cost of America's federal regulatory burden amounts to $15,000 per household, and starting to ease regulations will make a positive impact on the average family's pocketbook.

These types of citizen-centered solutions get government out of the way, increase opportunity for the middle class, and create good-paying jobs for a healthy economy-- exactly what we were elected to accomplish.

I hope President Obama will reverse from his go-it-alone course, put down his veto pen, and finally signal he's willing to work with Republicans to solve America's problems. If that happens, 2015 can truly be a year of bipartisan action.

To read the original column at the Jackson Cit Pat, click here.

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