Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, C- NY 1) was sworn in to office on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. During his first few days in office, Congressman Zeldin took to the House floor and voted in favor of several key pieces of legislation, including the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Hire More Heroes Act, and the Save the American Workers Act.
Congressman Zeldin, member of the House Veterans’ Affairs committee, cosponsored and voted in favor of the Hire More Heroes Act (H.R. 22), which passed unanimously in the House. The Hire More Heroes Act allows employers to exclude veterans who already receive health insurance through the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs from the employer mandate, a key provision of Obamacare, which requires all businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance to any full-time worker.
Under current law, veterans who already receive health insurance through the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs are still counted towards the employer mandate. The Hire More Heroes Act would allow those veterans to be excluded from this count. This would incentivize businesses to hire more veterans and would provide businesses with much-needed relief from Obamacare.
Congressman Zeldin, an army veteran who currently serves as a major in the army reserves said, “I’m proud to support and sponsor legislation that protects our veterans and helps them obtain jobs and financial security. This provision would encourage small businesses to hire veterans, while providing employers with relief from burdensome requirements under Obamacare.”
The Save the Americans Workers Act (H.R. 30), which passed 252-172 in the House this past Wednesday, would repeal and replace the 30-hour definition of a full-time employee under Obamacare’s employer mandate with a 40-hour definition.
“The employer mandate has had a disastrous effect on employers and employees across the country,” continued Congressman Zeldin. “The 30-hour definition of a full-time employee is enabling too many employers to keep their employees under that 30-hour mark in order to avoid the strain on their business of paying the high cost of health insurance for their employees. This in turn hurts employees and job seekers. Changing the 30-hour work week to a 40-hour work week is a commonsense way to improve our business climate.”
Legislation supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline passed in the House this past Thursday by 266-153. This legislation would approve the TransCanada’s application to construct, connect, operate, and maintain the Keystone Pipeline, an oil pipeline which would run between Canada and the United States. The Keystone Pipeline will be one of the safest and most technologically advanced pipelines in North America. According to the State Department, the Keystone Pipeline project would create over 40,000 jobs.
Congressman Zeldin, member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, voted in favor of this project to improve our nation’s infrastructure, job opportunities and energy independence.
“The Keystone Pipeline will create jobs and give our stagnant economy a boost it needs,” Congressman Zeldin stated. “The pipeline will also increase supplies of Canadian and American crude oil, further strengthening our economy, while helping secure our energy resources.”
After his first week in Washington, Congressman Zeldin is looking forward to a successful term in office, helping to grow our economy and create well-paying private sector jobs, strengthen our nation’s foreign affairs and veteran affairs, and improve our nation’s immigration, health care, and education policies.
Congressman Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, also issued the following statement after President Obama’s threat to veto bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Iran:
“I strongly disagree with the president’s continuing effort to win over the Iranian government through acts of kindness. It’s a strategy divorced from the reality that the Iranians do not respect weakness, only strength. When you announce a deal and the Iranian government immediately refutes the terms of that ‘agreement’ then there was no deal in the first place.
“The president is getting played by the Iranians, which means our entire nation is getting played. The Iranian government has made the strategic decision to continue to pursue nuclear capability and by engaging in talks with the president and his administration, are reaping billions of dollars in economic benefits by securing itself relief from sanctions.
“We should not be so naive and we shouldn’t be removing sanctions. We should actually be increasing sanctions.
“President Obama has already threatened to veto a plan from Congress to issue sanctions on Iran, despite bipartisan support for such a proposal. Providing Iran with relief from sanctions is a serious mistake and I strongly urge the President to reconsider.
“Iran poses a serious national security threat to America, Israel, and many of our allies.
“I will continue to stand strong on the passage of these sanctions, fighting in Congress to secure America’s interests abroad.”
This week, Congressman Zeldin was appointed to serve on two important House Foreign Affairs subcommittees: the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.