GOP pushes overtime bill in weekly address

Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) on Saturday urged the Senate to act on House Republicans' bill to change the way overtime benefits are calculated for some workers.

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Roby's bill, the Working Families Flexibility Act, passed the House on Wednesday.

"This bill provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities. It also demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives," Roby said in the weekly Republican address.

The bill would let private-sector workers exchange overtime pay for time off, if their employers go along — an option that is already available to government workers.

"Why should government workers have more freedom in the workplace than everybody else? And why is Washington restricting employers from offering certain benefits that government itself is free to offer?" Roby asked.

Democrats largely oppose the bill, saying employers will likely force their workers to take comp time instead of overtime pay. And some workers need the money, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said this week as he opposed the bill.

Roby, though, cast the bill as outreach to women.

"This bill provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities," she said. "It also demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives."