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By Chris Opfer
Sept. 27 — Republicans on both sides of the Capitol are angling for floor votes on legislation (H.R. 6094) to delay the Labor Department’s new overtime rule before it goes into effect in December.
The House Rules Committee was expected late Sept. 27 to clear the way for a vote on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), as soon as Sept. 28.
Meanwhile, a group of Senate Republicans that includes James Lankford (Okla.) is looking to build some Democratic support to help move a companion measure that could be introduced before lawmakers head back to their states in October to campaign in the final push before the November elections.
“This is clearly a major issue,” Lankford said of the overtime rule. “This is a major rule that has a dramatic effect, especially on nonprofits, small businesses, universities and state and local governments.”
The legislation would push back the rule (RIN:1235-AA11) until June. Walberg and Lankford are hoping to get Congress to pass the measure before the rule takes effect Dec. 1, but the bill faces a near certain veto from President Barack Obama if it reaches his desk for signature.
It also faces some hurdles in the Senate, where Lankford will need to convince at least a few Democrats to get on board to secure the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.
The DOL’s rule is expected to make some 4 million workers newly eligible for overtime pay by doubling the salary threshold under which workers are automatically entitled to time-and-a-half pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 a week.
Critics say it will force employers to cut jobs and hours to meet rising payroll costs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups and 21 states recently filed a pair of lawsuits challenging the rule. Republicans are also expected to push to include a policy rider stopping the rule as part of government funding legislation after the November elections.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Opfer in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of H.R. 6094 is available at http://src.bna.com/iNs.
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