The House passed a Republican-backed bill limiting noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000. The vote was 229 to 197, largely on party lines. The same bill passed the House last year but failed in the Senate on a Democrat-led filibuster. It must face the Senate again to become law. Also, House Republicans quashed a Democrat-backed attempt to force a vote on a bill that would have asked the Bush administration to guarantee continued overtime eligibility to workers who currently qualify. The attempt was defeated 222 to 205. The bill would not have changed new overtime regulations issued last month but would have put on record legislators' stance on the matter during an election year. Some labor groups, including the American Nurses Association, fear the new rules will exclude from overtime many workers who currently qualify. -- by Tony Fong
Republicans vs. Democrats in tort, overtime votes
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