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Eric Cantor’s Alternate Universe Features No Overtime Pay for Anyone, Blinders for Everyone

In what would have been better presented as a “how not to rebrand the GOP” exercise, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor made mention of a bill that would end overtime pay for hourly workers.

While no copy of the bill has been made public, Cantor’s “Make Life Work” speech given to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) went into detail about ending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 and its guarantee of “time and a half” for overtime hours worked in certain professions. Cantor reiterated his desire for such legislation during an interview with Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker.

DISCLAIMER: If there are typos throughout the rest of this article it’s because I’m I’m laughing and vomiting at the same time.

In the Lizza piece, Cantor neuters himself by saying he plans to bring the GOP back to relevance by ending overtime pay:

Cantor spoke about school choice, tax reform, expanding visas. After the speech, he rode back to the Capitol and met privately with House Republicans to discuss one of the policies he had emphasized: a policy that would allow workers to convert overtime compensation into time off. “I gave a talk today about helping people and about finally focusing on legislation that has understandable benefits right away,” Cantor said. He explained that it would help parents who wanted to go on a field trip or attend a teacher conference. “What I want to see is how we can communicate this, communicate the benefit. How are we going to build a coalition and get it done?”

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, excused herself halfway through the session and left; the meeting seemed to have been convened mostly for the edification of the one reporter in the room. Cantor asked Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican leader, if the legislation was ready yet. “We’re still kind of in the exploratory stage, but we are looking at some child-care bills, and not quite ready at this point to bring them forward,” she said. “But we’re working on it.”

The bill is likely to resemble the unsuccessful 2003 Family Time Flexibility Act which sought to end overtime pay and replace it with earned time off that would be accessible at the behest of the employer, not employee.

For Cantor to attempt to remarket the GOP by ending overtime shows that there is a major disconnect between party leadership and everyone else who breathes:

Since the 2012 elections, the Republicans have been divided between those who believe their policies are the problem and those who believe they just need better marketing—between those who believe they need to make better pizza and those who think they just need a more attractive box. Cantor, who is known among his colleagues as someone with strategic intelligence and a knack for political positioning, argues that it’s the box.

Daily Kos diarist TeamSarah4Choice responded simply to this false assertions saying, “No, Eric, it is not the “box” — it is the policies.”


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