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Poliquin: How I’ve Reduced Washington’s Burden On Mainers

Maine is home to the most skilled, honest and dedicated workers in the Country.

From shipbuilding, to fishing, to teaching, to manufacturing and everything in between, our Maine workers’ effort to create the best product possible is inspiring.

As we celebrate the upcoming Labor Day holiday, please remember to thank our Maine workers for all they do.

As Maine’s Second District Congressman, I have been working to help our Maine workers by reducing Washington’s burdensome regulations, repealing the parts of ObamaCare that are crippling our small businesses and supporting energy policies that will allow our businesses to grow and hire more workers.

Since my first day in office, I have been working to scale back the Dodd-Frank Act to help our community banks, federal credit unions and small businesses expand and hire more Maine workers.

At a recent Financial Services Committee hearing, I questioned Federal Chair Janet Yellen on Washington’s excessive and burdensome regulations that are crippling our Maine businesses. I said, “If you’re in my district and you’re talking to the owners of a paper mill or convenience store, they say the same thing. They are spending so much time and money to comply with government regulations that they can’t afford to grow their business and hire more workers.

“I am sure we can agree that businesses need to be fairly regulated, but when those regulations are killing jobs – that’s just not right.”

I will continue to support bills, such as the REINS Act, that help prevent new, excessive and costly regulations that are crippling our businesses and stunting job growth.

I have also been working to repeal the parts of ObamaCare that are hurting our Maine businesses the most.

One of the most crippling elements of the President’s health care law has been its redefining of a full-time employee’s workweek.  ObamaCare changed the long held standard of a workweek from 40 hours per week to just 30 hours.  This has in turn placed enormous pressure on Maine’s small businesses and brought uncertainty to the hard-working employees in the Second District.

This isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

That’s why I voted in support of a bill, the Save American Workers Act, in order to restore the definition of a full-time employee as someone who works 40 hours per week. The Save American Workers Act will allow our small businesses to expand, hire more employees and create a better business climate.

Additionally, too many of our paper mills have closed because the high cost of energy in Maine has made it hard to compete.  With these closures came thousands of lost jobs and several closed businesses.

That reality is simply unacceptable.

Maine is home to most skilled paper makers in the Country and our hard-working men and women manufacture paper products that we use everyday.

That’s why I have been working to help our paper mills from being unfairly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. I recently introduced an amendment that will ensure our paper mills, such as Sappi in Skowhegan, will not be penalized for using green, renewable fuels to generate energy. I was pleased to see my amendment passed with strong bipartisan support and was added to the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

I have also been working to help get more natural gas and energy, in an environmentally safe manner, to the Maine. To that end, I cosponsored and voted in support of the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act because it will help streamline the bureaucratic process involved in pipeline proposal implementation and construction.

With Fall and Winter quickly approaching, it’s imperative for Congress to act quickly in ensuring low prices for energy and heating for Maine businesses and families.

Also, I went against Republican Leadership by standing up for Maine families and voting against President Obama’s “fast-track” trade promotion authority (TPA).

One of the main reasons why I voted against this bill was because New Balance, one of the only remaining U.S. manufacturer of athletic footwear, employs 900 highly skilled Maine workers and makes those shoes right here in Norridgewock, Norway, and Skowhegan.

These are a few of the bills that I have supported to help our hardworking and dedicated Maine workers. While there is much more work to be done, I will continue to support legislation that reduces Washington’s regulations, repeals the parts of ObamaCare that are hurting our small businesses the most and help keep cost of energy and heating oil down.

Please remember to thank our Maine workers this Labor Day and be sure to enjoy the wonderful holiday with your friends and family.