NLC and Employers Beat Labor on a Big One

Article excerpt

Congress Overturns Ergonomics Rule

Over labor's loud objections and after heated debates, the House joined the Senate March 7 in passing a joint resolution that overturns the ergonomics regulation. This rule was finalized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and President Bill Clinton during the final days of his Administration.

Under the Congressional Review Act, a joint resolution of disapproval from both the Senate and the House may revoke any regulation promulgated by a federal agency. This revised act was part of NLC's federalism agenda with the 106th Congress.

During the Senate debate, Senator Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) cited statistics provided by NLC that helped explain the financial burdens cities would face if the ergonomics rule had been implemented. Thompson stated on the Senate Floor that, "According to the National League of Cities, out of 36,000 cities and towns in America, 91 percent have populations of fewer than 10,000. The average annual budget of these small towns and cities is about $1.6 million. At the end of the day, there is simply no money for lawyers and ergonomics experts ... The National League of Cities, the largest and oldest organization representing the nation's cities and towns, has opposed the regulation from the beginning. …