Fighting Obamacare's 30-hour work week: 'Even the French' work 35 hours

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Critics of Obamacare's regulation that just 30 hours amounts to a full-time job are launching a last-ditch effort to convince Democrats to help pass a change to restore the traditional 40-hour work week as the marker of a full-time job worthy of the insurance benefit.

“I always understood,” said Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., sponsor of the legislation, “that 40 hours was the standard work week.”

What’s more, he said, “even the French have a 35-hour work week and they’re considering increasing it.”

Young has about 10 Democratic co-sponsors to his legislation, the "Save American Workers (SAW) Act." He told Secrets that he is working to win even more in time for an expected Thursday House floor vote.

“My expectation is that it will pass,” he said, “and that there will be bipartisan support to a significant degree.” Young said that several other Democrats have “approached me and indicated that they weren’t comfortable co-sponsoring but that if it came to the floor, they were likely to be supportive.”

He added, “I wish there were more Democrats who were more willing to just admit that this legislation — passed in a partisan fashion, compiled behind closed doors, and rushed through our Congress — is sub-optimal.”

Many businesses, especially small businesses, have said the 30-hour rule will require them to cut full-time workers and part-time hours to avoid the added expenses of funding Obamacare. Proponents of the 40-hour change claim it will help save jobs and hours for workers.

There is some bipartisan support for the change in the Senate, and Young said he hoped House passage would spark momentum for action in the upper chamber.

The SAW Act marks a shift in the GOP’s strategy, from repealing Obamacare to repealing and replacing controversial elements.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.