Dems Oppose Obama’s OT Rules

Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) / AP


Two Congressional Democrats joined the chorus of lawmakers opposed to the Obama administration’s wide-ranging overtime regulations that could cut jobs.

Rep. Brad Ashford (D., Neb.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) joined more than 100 Republican lawmakers to sign a letter opposing the stringent new rules.

In its July proposed rule, the DOL called for updating the Fair Labor Standards Act by more than doubling the minimum salary for overtime exemption to $50,440 per year from $23,660.

Ashford and Peterson are two of 15 members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a conservative wing of the Democratic party.

Lawmakers said in the letter to Perez that the regulation would "adversely impact all affected employers, especially small businesses," and wind up having negative consequences for workers. "We urgently ask you to reconsider moving forward with this rule as drafted," the letter concluded.

The letter further warned controversial Labor Secretary Tom Perez that the regulations went beyond the original scope of labor regulations, ignores the "geographic diversity" of the dollar’s value on a state-to-state basis, and could hinder employment.

"With the implementation of the rule, nearly 5 million employees would suddenly become eligible for overtime pay. This 113 percent increase in the salary threshold would place a large burden on business owners and their workers, and is a major departure from previous DOL policy," the letter says.

"The belief that this rule change will increase millions of workers’ paychecks is simply shortsighted. Unfortunately, a change of this magnitude is likely to have unintended consequences regarding how an employer compensates its employees which would negatively affect workers. Many small businesses…simply cannot afford to increase their workers’ salaries to the new salary threshold that has been proposed."

The congressional letter can be read in full at Bloomberg BNA.

Bill McMorris   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill McMorris is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He joins the Beacon from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, where he was managing editor of Old Dominion Watchdog. He was a 2010 Robert Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, where he studied state pension shortfalls. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Economist, Colbert Report, and numerous print publications and radio stations. He lives in Alexandria, Va, with his wife and three daughters. His Twitter handle is @FBillMcMorris. His email address is

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