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Statement on Overtime Pay

Location: Washington, DC

STATEMENT ON OVERTIME PAY -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 29, 2004)


Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

Today, the White House and Department of Labor issued the final regulations to end overtime pay for as many as 10 million Americans.

Millions of hard-working American police officers, fire fighters, first responders, nurses, and veterans will see their paychecks cut.

The regulations are the result of a White House initiative to help employers lower the costs of doing business by cutting employee pay and benefits.

On Oct. 2nd of last year, I voted to block these controversial changes. We succeeded by a vote of 221-203, but the Republican Congressional leaders quietly reversed that decision at the White House's urging.

The Bush Administration, despite Congressional opposition, is still cutting the pay of American workers.

Over 2 million workers have lost their jobs under this Administration while millions more are working at McJobs with no benefits. You can't feed a family on minimum wage and leftover happymeals.

Congressional Republicans and President Bush are letting millions lose their unemployment benefits.

Congressional Republicans and President Bush think it's a good idea to ship American jobs overseas.

And now, Congressional Republicans and President Bush show that they believe the best way for America to compete with the third world is to pay Americans third world wages.

We don't know the exact number of people affected without more time to analyze the details. But here's what we do know: in March of 2003 the Administration planned to end overtime pay for 8 million people, but claimed it only hurt 600,000 people.

Now they claim that only 107,000 people will be hurt. Please forgive me if I don't believe them.

President Bush's initiative to cut the pay of hard-working Americans that work overtime is unconscionable, and must be reversed. This will hurt many of the people that deserve the pay the most-the police that patrol our streets and nurses that care for our sick.

I wonder, what's next on the Bush agenda-canceling Christmas?

I urge my colleagues to rally in defense of overtime pay so we may overturn President Bush's misguided policy to export American jobs and import third world wages.


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