Rep. Brooks prepares for clashes with Obama on ACA, immigration - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Rep. Brooks prepares for clashes with Obama on ACA, immigration

Brooks says house Republicans have a "legal issue" concerning Obama's immigration policy. (Source: WAFF) Brooks says house Republicans have a "legal issue" concerning Obama's immigration policy. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks says he is ready to battle President Obama on matters involving the Affordable Care Act and immigration policy.

House Republicans passed a bill called the "Save American Workers Act," but the president has already promised to veto the bill if the Senate passes it.

It would change the definition of full-time workers who must be offered employer-provided health care. 

Speaking in Huntsville Monday, Congressman Brooks explained that will let businesses allow employees to work more hours per week, giving them more income.

As of January 1, The Affordable Care Act began phasing in a requirement that eventually will mean companies with more than 50 full-time workers must offer health care coverage or face monetary penalties. 

Here's the heart of the debate: The health care law considers anyone working a minimum of 30 hours as "full-time." Opponents say that will lead to more employers keeping workers at 29 hours or less. So, the house bill increases the definition of full time to 40 hours.

"More Americans will be able to work longer hours, will be able to earn more money to take care of their families," said Brooks, "and that will help us over the long term with so many struggling American families."

Critics of the bill say it would mean more workers would be without employer-offered insurance. 

To pass the senate, they need six Democrats to support it. 12 house Democrats did support it.

Brooks then discussed another area of  continued tension - President Obama's executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Brooks said if the Senate will agree to roll back on the issue, the stage could be set to take the president to court.

The House voted last Wednesday to gut major provisions of President Obama's immigration policy. Through a funding cut, the legislation would revoke legal protections for unauthorized immigrants, including children, and put them at risk of deportation. 

There are 54 Republicans in the Senate. But 67 votes are needed to override a veto, which the president certainly would use to kill the bill.

Opponents of the president's executive action say he acted illegally and that he violated the Constitution. Congressman Brooks says if the senate passes it, and the president vetoes it, house Republicans could take Obama to federal court.

"It's highly probable that the president is going to want to side with illegal aliens rather that American citizens who want those jobs and higher incomes," Brooks said. "When that happens, what we in the House need to do is challenge the President in court. 

"We've got a legal dispute," he continued. "We and a vast number of American people believe that the President's conduct is illegal and unconstitutional."

Senate Republicans won't put the bill up for a vote if they don't believe they can get the 60 votes they need to prevent a Democratic-led filibuster that would kill it.

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