Earlier this year, the Obama administration released some new and long overdue overtime rules, which would have put more money into average American's pockets, and that would have doubled the level under which salaried workers must be paid overtime from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. This, of course, had Republicans like Paul Ryan's panties in a bunch, and sadly, the rule was blocked by a federal judge in Texas just before it was scheduled to take effect.
On this weekend's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, South Dakota Sen. John Thune touted the likelihood that the Trump administration will make that decision permanent. Thune positioned taking money away from working Americans as one of the many ways his party is planning on improving the economy and making the lives of working Americans better, along with building the Keystone Pipeline, and taking away health insurance from millions of Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
BARTIROMO: Senator, how does this impact the domestic agenda from your standpoint? What do you think is realistic in terms of new regulations, moving forward, let's call it the first one to two hundred days?
THUNE: Well I think, he has a really unique opportunity, Maria, because the previous administration did so many things by executive action that this president can come in and reverse and undo a lot of the damage that's been done. He can, for example, approve the Keystone Pipeline very quickly, which would be immediately create a lot of jobs in the economy. He can roll back the Department of Labor overtime rules, which would be a devastating shot to the economy if they were implemented. So he could undo that damage, he could undo a lot of Obama administration's attack on affordable energy that have been waged, largely through the EPA.
These are all things that have had a profound negative impact on the economy. Repealing and replacing Obamacare obviously is something that Congress will have to be involved with. We intend to be involved with that. We think that Obamacare has been extremely harmful across this country. Skyrocketing premiums and insurance markets collapsing and dwindling choices for consumers in this country, and so that's something that needs to be dealt with on day one.
The issue of tax reform was mentioned earlier by Jason Miller. It's a huge issue when it comes to getting the growth rate back in our economy. I think if this president focuses on getting that growth rate back up to three to four percent, creating better paying jobs, getting wages back up and policies that would create conditions that are favorable to that along the lines of those I just mentioned, I think you'll have a lot of support among the American people and will enable him to do many of the harder things he'll have to do down the road.
BARTIROMO: Right, and it does feel like he's got real support on that in terms of moving the needle on economic growth though tax reform, so that should --
THUNE: I think he does, and n tax reform frankly, it is long overdue. It's going to be very hard. We all know that. But i think he's got a position. He had a very decisive election victory. I think the American people indicated very quickly they want a different direction. It came out of the exit polls that said 62 percent of the people think the country's headed into the wrong direction, 52 percent think the economy should be the number one issue. So when it comes to the economy and jobs and wages there is a huge opening there I think for this president to chart a new direction.
It's going to be a new direction alright. Straight down.