CommunityPam's House Blend

Let’s take a break from the AWOL/Kitty Kelley stuff for a minute…it looks like the House is about to stomp Bush’s new overtime rules that took effect in August. This is a big story, since Republicans joined to stick it to Bush. Bush could still veto this, but it’s not likely to reach his desk until after the election. (AP):

In a sharp rebuke of a new administration policy, the House moved Thursday to block the Labor Department (news – web sites) from carrying out overtime rules that critics argued could deprive millions of workers of their overtime pay.

The 223-193 vote in favor of blocking the new overtime rules defied the White House, which has threatened to veto a massive spending bill now on the House floor if it contains any language tampering with the rules that took effect Aug. 23.

Democrats, united against the rules, were joined by some 20 Republicans in voting for the amendment to a $142.5 billion health and education spending bill.

The vote was President Bush’s second election-season defeat in Congress in two days. On Wednesday the Senate disregarded a White House veto threat and voted to prohibit Bush from giving federal immigration jobs to private workers.

“The administration has chosen this time to institute new regulations which for the first time in 80 years scale back workers’ entitlement to overtime pay,” said Rep. David Obey D-Wis., a sponsor of the overtime proposal.

Democrats sought to depict the issue as an election-season example of the Bush administration’s insensitivity to worker rights, saying the overtime privileges of up to 6 million workers were at risk.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding