Senate GOP: Vote on ObamaCare's 30-hour week inevitable

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday promised the upper chamber will vote to eliminate a healthcare law provision requiring businesses to provide insurance for people working at least 30 hours per week.

There is "almost no chance" the Senate would bypass the vote, McConnell said.


"One of the worst things we can do is destroy the 40-hour workweek which has been a part of American culture and life for a very long time," he said.

The GOP argues the 30-hour rule is leading to job losses, and wants to up the requirement to 40 hours per week. 

The House is expected to pass legislation to redefine full-time work to 40 hours a week on Thursday despite a veto threat issued by the White House on Wednesday.

McConnell dismissed estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday that said changing the definition of full-time work could raise the deficit by $53.2 billion over 10 years.

"It is wreaking havoc out in society regardless of what the CBO view may be of the impact on the U.S. budget. We know the impact on the family budget and it's not good," McConnell said.

Republicans called the veto threat a sign the president isn't willing to work with the new GOP majority in the Senate.

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Senate Democrats request watchdog, Red Cross probe DHS detention facilities Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran MORE (D-Ill.) admitted that the veto threat was "unusual" as little time has been given to allow for debate.

"It is unusual for him to do it in advance but I think it's because these are not new issues and the gravity of both of these issues go directly to whether or not we are going to have a confrontational relationship with the Congress and White House," Durbin said.

Durbin said he supports "some changes" to ObamaCare, but that any changes need to be debated heavily.

Durbin said the two sides should be able to come to a compromise on the workweek.

He argued moving to the 40-hour workweek requirement would be a bad idea not only because it would add to the deficit, but it would create a "perverse incentive" for businesses to cut their workers' hours to below 40 hours per week to avoid paying for their health insurance.