WASHINGTON (June 28, 2000)—Senate Republicans have won approval of an amendment to the Senate´s Labor Department appropriations bill prohibiting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from using any of its fiscal year 2001 funds to implement its proposed rule on ergonomics.
The sharply partisan, 57-41 vote took place on the evening of June 22 on the amendment offered by Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., an outspoken critic of OSHA.
"I have a duty to make certain that OSHA is acting responsibly, appropriately and in the best interest of workplace safety," Mr. Enzi said upon introducing his amendment. "Sadly, OSHA has not done so with its proposed ergonomics rule."
On June 8, the House of Representatives passed its own version of the Labor appropriations bill, which also contained a provision blocking funds to implement the ergonomics rule. The proposal is loathed by business interests but staunchly supported by labor unions. President Clinton has vowed to veto any Labor Department appropriations package that contains the ergonomics ban.
Debate on the rest of the Senate bill, meanwhile, was expected to continue through much of the week of June 26.