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Marco Rubio Tangles With Obama on Gun, Union Merit Pay Issues

February 12, 2015 - 6:00pm

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, came out swinging at President Barack Obama on Thursday, introducing two bills pushing back against the White House on Second Amendment rights and labor union employee pay.

Rubio unveiled the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015 which would end Operation Choke Point, an effort from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to pressure banks and other financial institutions from dealing with what the Obama administration considered questionable activities, ranging from gun dealers, firearm manufacturers, fireworks vendors, tobacco shops and a range of other businesses. In recent days, the FDIC acknowledged it had put too much pressure on gun shops and has promised to back off.

Thats not enough for Rubio whose bill would defund all Operation Choke Point operations and prevent the attorney general from launching the same type of action under a different program. Rubios bill has won the support of the the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Gun Owners of America (GOA).

Operation Choke Point is an attempt by the Obama administration to weaken Second Amendment rights in America, which enable people to protect themselves and their families, said Rubio on Thursday. We must stop this administrations effort to target private industries and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

Rubio also hit the Obama administration on another front on Thursday as he paired up with U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., to bring out the Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act which would change the National Labor Relations Act so businesses can provide merit pay increases to good employees even if not included in collective bargaining agreements. Rubio and Rokita insisted more than 7.5 million Americans could benefit from the law and bashed Obamas economic policies.

Helping people achieve the American dream means providing them with the skills and opportunities that lead to better pay in better jobs, said Rubio. When Americas workers earn a raise because of their hard work, union bosses should not be able to block it as labor policy currently allows. The RAISE Act would bring greater fairness and opportunity to the modern workplace by giving American workers the freedom to earn more money for a job well done.

Due to the president's failed leadership and policies, wages in the labor market are stagnant, said Rokita. The RAISE Act is pro-worker, common-sense legislation to address this problem by allowing employees in Indiana and across the country to earn higher pay. This bill allows employers to give merit-based raises and bonuses to employees who contribute positively to the success of their businesses, ensuring that hard work and success are rewarded, not punished.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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