Iowa’s two U.S. Senators are at odds over the new federal rules on overtime pay which took effect Monday. Democrat Tom Harkin says the rules, in his words, are “a ripoff of the American worker.” While more than one-million workers will be getting overtime pay for the first time under the new regulations, Harkin claims some six-million will lose overtime. Republican Chuck Grassley says that’s just not the case as the new rules will -help- many more workers get what they’re due. Grassley says the rules simplify and clarify who’s entitled to overtime. Grassley says anyone who makes less than 23-thousand dollars a year will get overtime while those who make more than 100-thousand won’t, with very specific exceptions. Grassley says the bickering from Harkin and the other opponents is simply politics. Grassley says no democrats condemned President Clinton when his labor secretary started the process of rewriting the rules, which shows “partisanship on the part of anybody that’s complaining about it now.” Grassley says the new regulations on overtime were long overdue. The last rewrite was in 1951 and Grassley says the federal rules needed to reflect changes in the economy over the last 50 years. Senator Harkin’s staff did not respond to Radio Iowa’s request for an interview with Harkin on this subject.
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