By Jennifer Rieger
Warren Davidson sure looked like the right candidate on paper. Served his country, became an elite Army Ranger, garnered an appointment to West Point, earned an MBA from Notre Dame, and joined the family business. So when he asked voters of Ohio’s 8th District to send him to Washington in 2016 claiming “I WILL fight for you,” it was easy to believe he would do just that.
But Congressman Davidson hasn’t fulfilled that promise. In fact, the only people Davidson seems to be fighting for are a small percentage of his constituents; people who — like Davidson himself — stand to benefit from legislation will hurt the majority of Ohioans.
Take the President’s American Health Care Plan. By supporting this bill, Davidson essentially voted for a significant tax break for households like his making more than $200,000 a year. According to the 2015 US Census that’s about 9,300 households in District 8 – barely above 3 percent.
Meanwhile, roughly 61,000 individuals in the district stand to lose their health insurance because of this bill. This could be due to being charged significantly more for having a pre-existing condition, being charged more simply because you’re older, or because you’re poor.
Another “Yea” vote from Davidson was for the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. This bill is a win-win for the Congressman who owns 3 companies and has hundreds of employees. Davidson claims the bill is flexible because it allows employees to choose whether to take their overtime hours in the form of money, or save it for comp time to be used later “when the employee chooses.” The joke is on the employee though because the flexibility is all in the hands of owners like Davidson. The owner (not the employee) chooses whether to pay you now or grant you comp time later. And when an employee requests his or her promised time off later, it’s their boss who chooses whether to grant it. How is that flexible for a family? Where exactly is theemployee’s choice?
The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act was another Yea vote from Davidson. This bill delays the effective date of a specific Department of Labor rule regarding overtime. The new rule was set to raise the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, meaning more employees putting in long hours will finally be paid overtime. Davidson, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, voted to delay this action. In other words, he chose the side of wealthy business owners at the expense of thousands of employees in his district.
Add to that the fact that Davidson has spent considerable time talking about how federal over-regulation financially impacts small businesses. He has voted repeatedly to overturn regulations that he claims are“burdensome” to business owners. Yet, his businesses don’t seem to suffer. In fact, the Congressman is successful enough that he could lend his campaign $250,000 from his personal wealth. An extra quarter of a million dollars? That’s a burden I’d like to bear.
In a recent Facebook posting, Davidson said, “We didn’t come here to take orders from a central planner. We came here to represent our districts.” Yet, I must ask: Who in the district are you representing, Congressman? Is it the relatively small percentage of wealthy business owners like himself, or the tens of thousands of employees those businesses depend on?
Davidson said during his campaign that he loves this country with a soldier’s passion. From what I see, that passion is directed toward himself and people like him – wealthy business owners in the elite club of household incomes greater than $200,000. As long as the Congressman continues to vote for his own interests, and the interests of his wealthy peers, the well-being of employees and their families in Ohio will continue to be in jeopardy.
Jennifer Rieger is a constituent of Rep. Davidson living in Butler County.