Thank God for the (Pro-Labor) Republicans!
Part 6 in a series


Democrats, united against the rules, were joined by 22 Republicans in voting for the amendment to a $142.5 billion health and education spending bill.

The vote was Bush's second election-season defeat in Congress in two days. On Wednesday the Senate disregarded a White House veto threat and voted to prohibit Bush from giving federal immigration jobs to private workers.

"The administration has chosen this time to institute new regulations which for the first time in 80 years scale back workers' entitlement to overtime pay," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., a sponsor of the overtime proposal.

Democrats sought to depict the issue as an election-season example of the Bush administration's insensitivity to worker rights, saying the overtime privileges of up to 6 million workers were at risk.

"This is the place where making ends meet happens because people have overtime pay. Republicans cannot grasp that," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Democrats and pro-labor Republicans have fought for more than a year to stop the Labor Department from going ahead with the proposed rules. The administration said they were needed to adjust to changing working conditions and clear up confusion that has led to lawsuits against employers.