Tags: Labor | Allies | Want | Senate | Block | Overtime | Rules

Labor Allies Want Senate to Block Overtime Rules

Wednesday, 15 September 2004 12:00 AM

``I think I do'' have the votes to prevail, Harkin said.

He planned to offer his amendment to a bill financing health, education and labor programs for next year.

The overtime rules showdown came as Congress inched its way through other spending bills less than three weeks from the start of the government's new budget year, including:

Last Thursday, the GOP-led House voted 223-193 to prevent the Labor Department from carrying out the new rules, which took effect on Aug. 23.

That vote was an embarrassing rebuke to Bush and underscored the sensitivity Republicans from labor districts have on the issue.

The White House has threatened a veto of a huge spending bill if the overtime language attached to it survives. House leaders said they believe the provision will be removed when House-Senate bargainers write a final version of the legislation.

Democrats and their labor allies say the new regulations would hurt 6 million workers. They say chefs, nurses, police officers, journalists, athletic trainers, lower-level computer employees and those who perform small amounts of supervisory work would be among those whose employers could stop paying them overtime.

That is disputed by the White House and the Labor Department, which argue that the new rules clarify who is entitled to overtime and would reduce confusion that has led to expensive lawsuits.

The Bush administration says about 107,000 white-collar workers making $100,000 or more could lose eligibility.

The new regulations - the most dramatic overhaul of overtime rules in five decades - also would require overtime pay for workers earning up to $23,660. That is triple the annual salary above which overtime was previously required, an increase the Labor Department said would protect 1.3 million workers.

Harkin's amendment would allow those extra workers to get overtime, and would only affect those who stood to lose it.

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``I think I do'' have the votes to prevail, Harkin said. He planned to offer his amendment to a bill financing health, education and labor programs for next year. The overtime rules showdown came as Congress inched its way through other spending bills less than three...
Labor,Allies,Want,Senate,Block,Overtime,Rules
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2004-00-15
Wednesday, 15 September 2004 12:00 AM
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