After weeks of cross aisle battles, the Senate has passed a $328 billion funding bill. Democrats had protested the plan, in part, because it allows the U.S. Labor Department to change overtime pay rules for many white-collar workers. They had hoped delaying the bill would force concessions, but Republican leaders argued the changes were needed to modernize overtime rules to reflect current work practices. The bill also included a 4.1 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees.
See Helen Dewar, The Washington Post, January 22, 2004