During an interview that aired on Monday’s broadcast of Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) explained what led to his hesitation to support legislation meant to ease the economic blow from coronavirus.
Gohmert pointed to a family leave provision in the bill, which only applied to companies with less than 500 employees.
Partial transcript as follows:
DOBBS: Let’s turn to the coronavirus bill that you — that you put a hold on. Got a deal I understand, but still 20 pages, I’ll bet you that you’re right still, that a lot of folks don’t have any idea what’s in it.
GOHMERT: Yes. Well — and that was the problem Friday night. Yes, we voted — started voting around 12:30 A.M. Saturday morning, but that bill didn’t get filed until right before midnight.
Now I had — I had read through the 108 pages of the 9 o’clock or so version, but I didn’t have time to compare them and do a side by side. I didn’t know what got changed or what didn’t.
But it really bugged me — you know, under Obamacare that passed without a single Republican vote, they exempted all businesses with less than 50 employees.
This bill that’s going to force small businesses — one, two, three, up to 50 — well up to 500 actually — employees. They’re going to have to be providing an opportunity to take family leave and all.
And — and these are folks — if you’ve got two employees, and you’re going to be able to give them both a month off you’ve got trouble.
DOBBS: Let me tell you what, if — if — if the White House — if the White House hasn’t got anymore influence over legislation than that, we’re going to have a real problem come November, because this is a time to be straight up, straight forward for both parties.
GOHMERT: That’s right.
DOBBS: Now the Democrats are very clearly not. The Republicans had better be and follow this president’s lead.
GOHMERT: Well, how ironic, Lou, that this bill exempts the corporations with over 500 employees. How about that? They were — what is the deal?
They were — they complain about the big corporations, and yet they exempted them and they said, well, a lot of them already have paid family leave.
GOHMERT: Well, they’re the ones that can afford it. But you’re going after the mom and pops here, you — who’s going to pay the employees when this bill puts the small businesses out of business?
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