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September 21, 2004
Senate Panel OKs Measure that Would Block OT Rules

A Senate committee voted 16-13 last week to approve a measure that would block new overtime rules that became effective August 23, the Associated Press reports. Two Republicans joined with Democrats in approving the legislation.

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The legislation, which was attached to a larger spending bill, faces a number of hurdles.

President Bush has threatened to veto any legislation with a provision that blocks the new rules governing overtime. The measure approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee could also be dropped during House-Senate negotiations--just as similar legislation had been dumped in 2003.

Still, the Senate panel's vote comes as the second rebuke to the Bush Administration in a week, according to the news service. The full House has already approved a measure that would prevent the Department of Labor from enforcing new rules.

Both the House and Senate measures would allow a rule raising the threshold below which workers are guaranteed overtime.

While the Senate and House maneuver, the new overtime rules remain in effect.

Opponents of the new overtime rules say the changes would take away overtime from too many workers. Supporters of the changes say the revisions are necessary to clarify who is eligible for overtime.

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