Why is Harry Reid Killing Construction Jobs?

Note that the question here is why he’s out to get construction jobs per se. It’s already clear that the Senate Democrat leadership is deeply in love with measures that destroy jobs – be they tax increases, employer mandates, more stringent regulations, costlier electricity, empowerment of unions, etc.

But all those things destroy jobs on more or less an equal opportunity basis; they’re just about as likely to kill farming jobs as software jobs. But apparently the construction sector has done something that particularly peeves some Senate Democrats. Otherwise, why would they be going after construction with a vengeance?

Owners of small construction firms across the country are angry over a provision in the Senate health care bill that they say is unfair. At issue is a provision that treats construction businesses differently than other small businesses.

The Senate bill has a provision requiring businesses with over 50 employees to pay a fine of $750-per-worker fine for any employee who purchases subsidized health insurance on their own. However, the provision was amended to require construction businesses with more than five employees to pay the same fine.

The construction industry says that in these lean financial times the provision will result in many of them being forced out of business.

The amendment was inserted Wednesday morning in order to garner the necessary 60 votes to pass the bill.

Construction firms are crying foul over the provision that treats them differently from every other business with fewer than 50 employees.

By all rights, this provision ought to be killed right quick. After all, Democrats are repeating up and down that their number one priority is fixing the economy. Even if you accepted their argument that they still need to do health care first, that still wouldn’t explain a borderline vindictive attack on small construction firms.

But why would Harry Reid do that? Is he doing a favor for some union supporters, or is this being done at the behest of larger builders who are better positioned to bear the costs than smaller competitors? Or could  this be a case in which Reid has some personal vendetta against the National Association of Home Builders – the group which is apparently most directly affected?

For those wondering why I have so quickly jumped to pondering Harry Reid’s motivation – as opposed to any other Democrat’s – it’s because this change was apparently incorporated by the Reid compromise amendment. That amendment was adopted on Wednesday, in order to secure 60 votes. Thus we’re left to wonder what Reid’s motivation is.

I’m hopeful the teams at the Las Vegas Review Journal and Las Vegas Sun ask him.