WASHINGTON (March 8)—The House quickly joined the Senate to pass a resolution disapproving the final rule on ergonomics finalized in January by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The 223-206 House vote will send the resolution to President Bush, who is expected to sign it and thus make the ergonomics standard null and void. The vote marked the first time Congress invoked the Congressional Review Act, a 5-year-old law which gives Congress the power to revoke a regulatory standard by a simple majority vote. Tire manufacturers, who estimate the rule would cost them nearly $70,000 per worker simply to retrofit the average tire press, were jubilant over the House and Senate votes. "This was the right course of action," said Donald B. Shea, president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association. "This was a badly crafted rule based on insufficient scientific information." But labor unions, which fought hard for the ergonomics standard and made emotional pleas on its behalf, accused Congress and big business of stabbing workers in the back. "A Republican leadership juggernaut in the House resorted to arm-twisting and steamroller tactics to assure a majority to crush the ergonomics standard," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. "In doing so, they wiped out a 10-year effort to establish protections for workers who suffer from crippling and disabling injuries."
House passes ergonomics resolution; Bush expected to sign
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