Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed four bills he cosponsored:
"I am proud to be a cosponsor of these four bills, which will protect Americans' religious freedom, veterans looking for work, emergency services volunteers and Arkansas farmers from excessive and overly burdensome regulations imposed by the Obama Administration, including through Obamacare."
"Rep. Crawford's FUELS Act would correct one of the EPA's particularly onerous regulations, a bureaucratic rule that could cost Arkansas farmers tens of thousands of dollars. I was proud to be an original cosponsor of this bipartisan bill and will continue to fight against the Obama Administration's red tape."
The bipartisan Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act (H.R. 1814) would expand Obamacare's religious conscience exemption from the individual mandate penalty tax by allowing individuals to include with their annual income tax return an affidavit stating they do not have Obamacare-approved health insurance because of their sincerely-held religious beliefs.
The Hire More Heroes Act (H.R. 3474) would encourage employers to hire veterans by permitting them to exclude employees who already have health coverage through a Department of Defense program when determining whether they must provide health care coverage to their employees under Obamacare. Eight million veterans currently receive health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and this bill would ensure they are not counted toward Obamacare's employer mandate, which requires businesses with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance to them.
Rep. Griffin is an original cosponsor of the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 3979), which would exempt qualified emergency service volunteers, including voluntary firefighters and emergency responders, from being counted toward Obamacare's employer mandate.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has warned that over "780,000 other volunteer firefighters throughout the nation, are classified as "employees' of their fire departments. This classification could force fire departments to offer health insurance to volunteers, a requirement which very few fire departments could meet, and even fewer volunteers want."
Rep. Griffin is also an original cosponsor of the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act (H.R. 311), which was introduced by Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01) and would, as he explained, change the EPA's Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) program rule that "mandates that any farmer or rancher with above-ground oil storage facilities with a capacity of at least 1,320 gallons must make structural modifications to include a containment facility capable of retaining 110 percent of fuel in the container, and have this modification certified by a Professional Engineer (PE)." The FUELS Act would raise the exemption level to 10,000 gallons and ensure certification from a PE is only required for on-farm storage above 42,000 gallons. As Rep. Crawford further explained, "The University of Arkansas estimates that this legislation would save the entire agricultural community up to $3.36 billion in compliance costs, dollars that can be directly reinvested in capital to drive economic growth."