For the second time in a month, Senate Democrats blocked Republicans from moving forward Wednesday on a bill to give wage earners a choice between time off or pay for overtime work.
The 51-47 vote fell nine short of the 60 needed to limit debate and move a bill toward a final vote. Three Republicans - Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, Alfonse D’Amato of New York and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania - joined all 44 voting Democrats in defeating the motion to end debate. On May 15, the vote on a similar motion was 53-47.
The vote opened the way for possible talks on a compromise, but differences were substantial.
The bill would give wage earners who enter voluntary agreements with their bosses an option of 1-1/2 hours of time off or 1-1/2 hours of pay for every hour of overtime worked.