Bush Signs Resolution to Repeal OSHA Ergonomics Rule.
On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a "resolution of disapproval" of OSHA's final ergonomics rule by a vote of 223 to 206. Two days earlier, the Senate had passed the same resolution 56 to 44.
Voting in both houses ran closely along party lines. Sixteen Democrats in the House joined all but 13 Republicans in voting for passage. In the Senate, six Democrats joined all 50 Republicans in voting to approve the resolution.
The president has directed Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to find a less expensive way to protect worker health. Chao has indicated she would consider issuing a different ergonomics rule.
Industry groups, including the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, had opposed the regulations and had joined the National Association of Manufacturers in aggressive lobbying for the rule's repeal. KCMA Executive Vice President Dick Titus said, "The historic vote to rescind the awful OSHA ergonomics standard was one of the best actions Congress has taken in the past several years."
The ergonomics regulations are the first to be repealed under the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 bill that gives Congress the power to overturn federal regulations under certain circumstances.