House Democrats Force GOP to Pull “Comp Time” Bill That Could Have Ended 40 Hour Work Week

For Immediate Release:

June 4, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the GOP leadership announced that it would not consider the misnamed “Family Time Flexibility Act” (H.R. 1119) - otherwise known as “Comp Time” - on the Floor on Thursday, as originally scheduled:

“The bottom line is that President Bush and the GOP leadership could not secure the votes needed to pass this outrageous attempt to rollback the 40-hour workweek and overtime pay.  This bill – derisively known by working men and women as the ‘comp time’ bill – is a dagger pointed at the heart of the 40 hour work week, and the Republican leadership has been licking its chops to bring it up for a vote on the House Floor.

“But over the last several weeks it became clear to our Whip Operation and to the Republicans that Democrats are virtually united against this legislation and in support of working families.  In fact, many Republicans simply could not vote for it, no matter how much pressure the GOP leadership put on them.

“Unfortunately, on issue after issue after issue, the Republican Party, led by President Bush, has attempted to shortchange working America – dragging its feet on extending unemployment insurance for unemployed workers and passing a grossly unfair and irresponsible tax bill that won’t create jobs and puts a larger proportion of the tax burden on the middle class.

“The Fair Labor Standards Act currently requires employers to pay workers time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.  This ‘comp time’ bill would allow employers to pay workers nothing for overtime at the time it is performed, in exchange for a promise of compensatory time off in the future when the employer allows.  This reduces the incentives for employers to respect the American institution of a 40-hour work week.

“Our nation was built – literally – through the blood, sweat and tears of working men and women.  And Democrats, with the support of some moderate, reasonable Republicans, have no intention of standing idly by while President Bush and the Republican Leadership tries to turn back the clock.  We have every expectation that the Republican leadership will bring this bill back.  We have no intention of assuming that this victory means the larger battle had ended.”

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