Mr. TERRY. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support Chairman Tim Walberg as an original co-sponsor of H.R. 5969 and H.R. 5970. These two pieces of legislation reaffirm the importance of maintaining access to quality, affordable, in-home companionship care.
Last year when the Department of Labor first proposed a rule to change the in home companionship care exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act, I introduced a preemptive piece of legislation, H.R. 3066, that sought to clarify some issues the Secretary of Labor is seeking to change through regulation.
The Secretary, not surprisingly, did not listen. Her department continues to run roughshod over the will of Members of Congress and what is best for patients that rely on this important service.
When testifying before a Senate panel earlier this Congress, the Secretary admitted that her agency had not consulted with State Medicaid officials on how the proposed regulation would impact them. Independent economic analysis has proven that this regulation will end up driving more people into having to use Medicaid to utilize nursing home care and further exacerbate that budgetary crisis many states are in.
H.R. 5969 preserves the companionship services exemption by clarifying what these services entail and who specifically the third party employers in this space are. H.R. 5970 reaffirms that the Secretary of Labor shall not finalize her proposed rule, titled ``Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service.'' I hope she chooses to listen and reevaluate.