Rep. Levin: Stop Playing Politics with Our National Security

Feb 15, 2015

Rep. Levin:  Stop Playing Politics with Our National Security

On January 14, on a near party-line vote, the House approved a funding bill [H.R. 240] to keep the lights on at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after February 27, when the current funding expires.  Unfortunately, House Republicans, who are upset with the President’s immigration policies, loaded up the bill with poison-pill amendments and the White House has indicated the President would veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

In his Floor statement on the bill, Rep. Levin said, “Look, if you disagree with the President on immigration, let’s hear your plan to fix our nation’s broken immigration system…. But we shouldn’t let down our guard on national security by playing games with the bill that funds border security, immigrations and customs enforcement, FEMA, and the Coast Guard.”

House Democrats Urge President to Boost Overtime Pay for Working Americans

On January 16, Rep. Levin and 34 other House Democrats wrote to President Obama and called for “bold action” to update overtime pay for America’s working families.  The Fair Labor Standards Act requires salaried workers earning below a certain income threshold (currently $23,660 a year) to be eligible for overtime pay.  However, the income threshold hasn’t been adjusted in decades and has not kept pace with inflation.  As a result, just 11 percent of our nation’s salaried workers are eligible to receive overtime pay.

In their letter, Rep. Levin and the other House lawmakers are urging the President to increase the income threshold so that salaried workers earning less than $69,000 a year could earn overtime pay.

House Takes Its 54th Vote to Undermine the Affordable Care Act

Just three days into the new Congress, one of the first orders of business by the House Republican Leadership was to hold their 54th vote on legislation that undermines the protections enacted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This bill, the so-called Save American Workers Act [H.R. 30] shifts responsibility for paying for health insurance from employers to taxpayers. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 30 would lead to one million fewer Americans receiving health insurance through their job and increase the uninsured rate by up to 500,000.

But the ACA is helping millions around the country and in Michigan.  According to the latest numbers, the percentage of uninsured Americans has dropped to an all-time low of 12.9 percent, thanks in part to the ACA.  Over 270,000 individuals selected a Marketplace plan during the ACA’s first open enrollment period, and nearly 510,000 Michiganders have gained coverage through Healthy Michigan, our state’s Medicaid expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act.  Click here to see a complete list of how the ACA is helping Michigan residents. 

It’s Official: 2014 was the Hottest Year on Record

Last week, NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2014 was the hottest year ever measured, based on records going back to the year 1880.  According to NASA, the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997.  Scientists have been warning for years that the build-up of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere -- mainly from the burning of fossil fuels -- are changing our planet’s climate system.

Using its existing authority, the Obama Administration is taking a number of actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  The most far-reaching action is the Administration’s proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions at existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030.  Congressional Republicans have indicated they will continue to work to block the Clean Power Rule.