He did it through a “rule change,” similar to how an executive order works (Or aka, just gave the middle finger to a Republican Congress).
After what many would consider a rather great week for the Obama presidency, President Obama looks to keep that win streak going with his new “rule change” regarding to the overtime pay threshold.
President Obama introduced the plan yesterday in an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post. The op-ed talked about how a rule change – basically look at a “rule change” similar to how you would look at an executive order from a president (more on that in a bit) – will extend overtime pay for about five million Americans earning middle class wages. Right now this only affects individuals that earn under $23,660 a year, but the administration hopes to extend the measure to a larger swath of the American populace that at least earns $50,400 a year eventually. Many financial analysts speculate the recent move boosts paychecks for many individuals that should have been getting overtime pay, but weren’t.
The Obama administration originally expressed interest in extending overtime pay early last year. Yet the Obama administration weren’t the only ones asking for this policy change, multiple organizations that deal with economic policies – like the Economic Policy Institute – suggested that the overtime threshold should be raised.
While the president’s recent proposal didn’t exactly bring the overtime wage threshold into the modern era – taking inflation into account, most economists would agree that the threshold increase only brought it to the 1970’s era numbers – but it does give millions of American workers the ability to qualify for overtime wages in which they weren’t eligible before.
With all that said, let’s not gloss over the fact that creating this as a “rule change” for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) completely bypassed Congress’ approval. It’s safe to say if the bill were were brought to the general assembly; there wasn’t a CHANCE IN HELL (!!!) of it passing a GOP lead Congress. Basically President Obama just did this to many Congressional Republicans.
To be fair though, he warned Republicans that if they weren’t willing to work with him on creating economic policies that specifically targeted middle and lower-income workers, he’d do it himself.
And with this, that’s exactly what he did.
(Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov, Google Images)