Tags: Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Keystone XL Pipeline | MidPoint | Renee Ellmers | John Boehner | jobs

Rep. Ellmers to GOP: Focus on Jobs, Not Internal Politics

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 07:12 PM

The new, Republican-led Congress being sworn in Tuesday should pass jobs bills — such as the Hire More Heroes Act and the Keystone XL pipeline authorization — and avoid a futile intraparty fight over the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, says Rep. Renee Ellmers.

"Those who are acting out right now, that are getting some media attention, that's all it is. It's media attention," Ellmers, a North Carolina Republican, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Monday. "These are folks that thrive on it."

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A long-shot bid to oust Boehner in favor of a more conservative caucus leader is the work of "bad actors" who already had, and passed on, their chance "months ago" to attempt a change in speaker or in legislative direction, said Ellmers.

Ellmers said House GOP dissidents are "acting as if they're going against the party, and there's really not substance to it whatsoever."

Republicans should instead focus on bills that will put people to work and demonstrate to voters that the party is capable of using its House and Senate majorities constructively, said Ellmers.

She said the Hire More Heroes Act is a test case — a "very, very good" bipartisan House bill that was stalled in the Senate by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Ellmers, because of some Democrats' opposition to a provision concerning the Affordable Care Act.

The Hire More Heroes Act would allow businesses to hire military veterans without counting them, for health-insurance purposes, toward their total number of employees — an exemption that lets small companies stay below the 50-employee threshold at which they are obliged to offer workers coverage.

Supporters have noted that veterans already carry health insurance through the Defense Department.

"This is an opportunity for employers to actually be able to look at veterans and empower them to hire more veterans," said Ellmers, adding that the opposition is rooted in obstinate Democratic support for "this awful law" — Obamacare — even in the face of a common-sense revision.

"Every member of Congress, House and Senate, will tell you that they fight for veterans every day, and yet here's a perfect opportunity where we could have helped them a long time ago to move forward, to get jobs, to move this economy forward," said Ellmers.

"It's a win-win situation, and there again, it's one we will bring up quickly into the new Congress because we know how much it will help America and help our veterans," she said.

Ellmers said she still supports the Keystone XL transcontinental oil pipeline between Canada and Texas because it would create construction jobs in the near term and make a commitment in the long term to greater U.S. energy independence.

She said it is "shortsighted" to abandon the pipeline or dismiss it as irrelevant just because gas prices happen to be falling now and supplies are plentiful at the moment.

Several Republicans in Congress plan to push a Keystone vote quickly and send a bill to President Barack Obama — in effect daring him to veto it and risk looking like an impediment to job creation. The pipeline project also has some Democratic support.

"It is up to the president to work with us on this," said Ellmers. "If you want the American people to be taken care of, if you want this economy to move forward, then let's all get to the table and let's work together."

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The new, Republican-led Congress being sworn in Tuesday should pass jobs bills — such as the Hire More Heroes Act and the Keystone XL pipeline authorization — and avoid a futile intraparty fight over the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, says Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Renee Ellmers, John Boehner, jobs, bills
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2015-12-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 07:12 PM
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