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Collins tears into ObamaCare

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tore into ObamaCare in the Republican weekly address on Saturday, saying it would result in job losses and shorter workweeks for hourly employees.

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

Collins cited two thresholds in the law that she says will hurt both workers and employers. The first fines companies of 50 or more employees that fail to provide health insurance to their employees.

“If you employ 49 workers, there are no fines,” she said. “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.”

The second threshold classifies those who work 30 hours or more a week as full-time.

“Even worse, under Obamacare, anyone working an average of just 30 hours a week is considered full-time,” she said. “This will only cause some businesses to reluctantly reduce the hours of their workers to fewer than 30 hours per week.”

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

Collins touted legislation she introduced to change the definition of “full-time employee” in ObamaCare from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week.

On Friday, the House passed the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act largely along party lines. It was the 40th time the House has voted to repeal or dismantle some aspect of the president’s healthcare law.

Collins’s address came after a difficult week for the senator. She sponsored the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill, which funds government transportation and housing agencies, but ended up the only Republican to vote in favor of the measure, which fell short of the 60 votes it needed to advance.

The bill’s failure was a victory for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who opposed the bill because it would have exceeded spending caps set in 2011. Its failure sets the stage for a fall showdown between the parties over federal spending levels.