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Obama announces plan to expand overtime eligibility for almost 5 million workers

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President Barack Obama on Monday announced a proposal that would make nearly 5 million more workers eligible for overtime pay, a move that would touch nearly every sector of the U.S. economy and could face legal challenges.

Obama in an editorial posted on the Huffington Post website said the proposal would more than double the maximum income a salaried worker can earn and still be eligible for overtime pay to $50,440, or $970 a week. The current threshold is $23,660.

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“Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,” Obama wrote.

It was not immediately clear if Obama would also move to narrow an existing exemption from overtime pay protections for low-level white collar workers, as many observers had expected.

Obama said he would discuss more details of the proposal later this week in Wisconsin, and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was scheduled to hold a press conference on the proposal on Tuesday.

When the proposal is published, it will set off a comment period during which business groups are expected to argue that the rules would not have their intended effect of putting more money in U.S. workers’ pockets and could kill jobs.

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Randy Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that making more employees eligible for overtime will lead to a drop in the number of full-time jobs and that some workers would lose benefits and opportunities for promotions.

“This change is another example of the administration being completely divorced from reality and adding more burdens to employers and expecting them to just absorb the impact,” Johnson said in a statement.

But supporters of the proposal, including Judith Conti at the left-leaning National Employment Law Project, say overtime pay protections were created not to increase workers’ pay but to promote the 40-hour work week.

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“Some people will work fewer hours for the same money and have more control over their lives, some will work the same hours for more money,” Conti said.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

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Mnuchin admits White House has transcript of Ukraine call and ‘they’re going to be kept confidential’

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed on Sunday that the White House does have a transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Mnuchin if he had an objection to Congress' request to see a transcript in which Trump allegedly asks Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

While confirming that a transcript of the call exists, Mnuchin said that House Democrats have no right to see it.

"What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders," he told Todd. "I think that those are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent."

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‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized

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During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.

Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.

"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.

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