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House backs bill to change overtime rules for private sector

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has backed legislation that would allow private sector companies to give employees compensation time off rather than overtime pay.

The vote was 229-197 on Tuesday as six Republicans joined 191 Democrats in opposing the measure.

Republicans cast the measure as offering greater flexibility for employers and workers. Democrats complained that the bill undermines the Fair Labor Standards Act. No Democrat voted for the measure.

Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas says the work force has changed dramatically, and that employees in both the public and private sector should have the same chance to balance work and personal life.

Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland says the bill "effectively devalues what workers can earn for the extra hours they work."

The legislation faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.