Republicans and Democrats at odds on overtime pay

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Trump administration has put forth a new policy for what workers can collect overtime pay, but Democrats are pushing back, saying it will short millions of people.

Currently, companies do not have to pay overtime to salaried workers who make more than $23,000 annually. The Obama administration tried to raise that figure to $47,000, but businesses complained, states sued and the courts ultimately blocked it.

“It sounds great in the short term but there can be a lot of long-term and even short-term unintended consequences,” Patrice Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum said of the Obama proposal, listing possibilities like lower wages, layoffs and a more stressful environment for workers forced to rush through their day.

The Trump administration is trying to split the difference, setting the cap at $35,000.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says that’s not good enough.

“They’re not willing to tell corporations, ‘You’re going to pay overtime to these people because they earned it,’” he said. “That’s reprehensible when you see the number of millionaires and billionaires that are in this White House.”

He and 19 other Democrats are urging the U.S. Labor Department to withdraw the proposed rule.

Brown is also pushing a bill to make the $47,000 cap the law. He’s working to score Republican support but said he knows that’s a long shot.

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