WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after the Democratic Motion to Instruct House conferees on the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill passed by a vote of 221-203. This Motion instructs conferees to accept Senate-passed language to block the Bush Administration’s proposed rule changes denying overtime pay to millions of American workers:
“I think this overwhelming vote against the proposed Labor Department rule changes by the Bush Administration shows two things. First, this Democratic Caucus is having tremendous success whipping its members and achieving unity. We are really putting the heat on the House GOP and the defection of 21 Republicans who voted for this Democratic Motion today demonstrates that. And second, the Republican Conference is having great difficulty because its leadership insists on overreaching.
“What’s especially gratifying about this vote is that both sides, Democrats and Republicans, took this vote seriously and were whipping their members on it. The members of our Caucus have worked all year long to build as much unity as possible, and they are seeing in votes like this one today that we are having success.
”Furthermore, this vote was an important signal to the working men and women of America about who is really on their side and who is not. With the loss of more than 3 million jobs since George W. Bush took office, it is unconscionable that the Administration would now zero in on those who still are working and try to deprive them of their overtime pay. The 40-hour work week is a staple in American life, and the Republican Party should stop trying to undo it.”
All Democratic House Members voted against the Fiscal Year 2004 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill when it passed out of the House earlier this year.