WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Overtime pay for millions of Americans is in limbo. A proposed rule from the Obama Administration was set to go into effect on December 1, but a federal judge in Texas put it on hold.
Congressman Allen (R-GA) says maybe an increase in maximum salary is needed, but not from $26,000 to $47,000.
"The biggest problem we’ve had in Washington is where these agencies have used their authority to implement certain laws," said Congressman Rick Allen (R-GA).
He says the overtime rule is over the line. Right now, salaried employees who make roughly $26,000 a year or less qualify for overtime. The new rule would bump it up to more than $47,000. He says the rule would wreak havoc on nonprofits, small businesses, and many other sectors.
"The Secretary of Labor had no business doing this in an economy that’s growing less than two percent," said Allen.
Allen says he doesn’t expect this rule to see the light of day with a new administration coming to town.
"Should it be increased? Maybe so. But not (from) $26,000 (to) $47,000," said Allen.
Allen and many of his Republican colleagues are outraged at Secretary of Labor Tom Perez acting unilaterally to make the rule. Many on the other side say this was the best chance for President Obama to provide a wage boost to Americans before he leaves office.
"I suspect the great majority of people who have not been getting the benefit of overtime pay would welcome the change," said Gary Burtless, a Senior Fellow in economics at the Brookings Institution.
He says most voters agree with increased wages.
"A lot of the opposition, even though it may be well thought out, even though it may even be supported by some data, is just not resonating with most American voters," said Burtless.
Burtless says he too expects the rule to be overturned when President-elect Donald Trump and his new Secretary of Labor take office. If it is, the current rule goes unchanged.