The White House Summit on Working Families today focused on giving “modern American families the best chance to succeed at work and at home.” But the Administration’s proposed formula for this success is contingent on one thing: more government regulation. This approach will do nothing to solve the problems facing working women and families.
Last Wednesday, the House Joint Economic Committee (JEC) held a hearing on the role the government should play in empowering women in the workplace. The witnesses focused on the importance of providing greater choice and flexibility, reducing burdensome regulations, and fostering economic growth to better support working American families.
Watch Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) with the recap and four takeaways from witness testimony below.
→A job is more than just a paycheck.
It’s about total compensation and a work environment that meets the needs and provides an improved quality of life to the changing 21st-century American workforce.
→ Working families, especially women, continue to suffer from the current recovery’s economic growth and jobs gap.
Women want jobs that match their skill sets and enable them to balance the demands of their jobs with the responsibilities of their families. More and more companies are responding to employees’ demands for flexibility.
→ Increasing burdens that come from bureaucratic red tape, such as new Obamacare and EPA regulations, discourage entrepreneurship and job creation, limiting opportunities for women.
→ The antiquated laws governing the workplace, including the mandated overtime pay and the federal income tax code’s marriage penalty, are preventing families from achieving the flexibility necessary to support themselves and improve their quality of life.
For primary caretakers, this is especially true as they take time out of the workforce or in the form of reduced hours to meet the obligations of their families, children, and parents.
The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, passed by the House last year, would give private-sector employers the ability to offer the choice of compensatory time off or overtime pay to their employees paid hourly rates.
This is just one of many House-passed bills that empower women and families — not the government.
Instead of holding a summit on working families, the White House should work with Republicans to enact policies that make it easier for middle-class Americans to find good-paying jobs and make their lives better.