Senate health panel takes up 40-hour week

The Senate committee on health will devote one of its first hearings of the new Congress to a GOP-led bill aimed at weakening ObamaCare’s employer mandate, its chairman announced Wednesday.


Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-Tenn.), who cosponsored the bill, said he will hold a hearing this month to highlight ways the employer mandate’s definition of a 30-hour work week has “made it harder” for American businesses to stay afloat.

The bill, which was introduced Tuesday by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham: 'Handful' of GOP senators will vote to block Trump's emergency declaration Dems set up Tuesday vote to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump MORE (R-Maine) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (D-Indiana), would raise the threshold for “full time” work to 40 hours.

The hearing will also help the committee “work toward undoing the damage Obamacare has done and preventing future damage from this historic mistake of a law,” Alexander wrote in a statement, his first remarks since officially becoming chairman on Wednesday.

The bill is expected to reach a vote in the House on Thursday.

Spokespersons for the committee did not immediately return requests for comment about the timing of the hearing.

The workweek bill drew more than a dozen Democratic votes when offered last year, but the White House on Wednesday promised the measure would be met with a veto if it ever reached President Obama’s desk.