May 12, 2004
OT Battle Continues
The House today rejected an attempt by House Education and the Workforce ranking member George Miller, D-Calif., to force the chamber to take a recorded vote on the Labor Department’s rewritten overtime pay regulations. The House voted 222-205 to table Miller’s motion to instruct conferees on the FY04 Labor-HHS appropriations bill, legislation that was rolled into last year’s omnibus spending bill but whose conference was never officially closed. A spokesman for House Majority Leader DeLay called the move “a meaningless motion to instruct on a bill that’s already a law,” adding, “We weren’t going to allow Democrats just to score political points on the floor of the House.” Miller’s motion would have instructed conferees to adopt a Senate-passed amendment blocking any portion of the rules that would cut overtime pay. Miller had tried to put House members on the record on the overtime rules but House leaders, who Miller said “think the issue is hot enough that they don’t want to take a vote,” had blocked his other moves.
Translation: the Senate has moved to block the stripping of overtime from untold numbers of American workers, Democrats in the House wanted to do the same, Tom DeLay won’t allow it and dismisses it as “meaningless.”
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