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Inside the battle to overhaul overtime — and what it says about how lobbying has changed

(WASHINGTON POST)  Lydia DePillis — The week before Labor Day may be a quiet one in Washington. But in the nation’s capital and across the country, legions of lawyers and lobbyists are scrambling to weigh in one of the most consequential regulations of Obama’s second term: An update to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would make 4.6 million more people eligible for overtime.

The comment period ends Friday on the rule, and the outcome could have more of a direct impact on Americans’ earnings as almost any federal law that’s passed since the Affordable Care Act. That’s no accident: As the Obama Administration has resorted to executive action as an end run around a gridlocked and hostile Congress, lobbyists have turned their attention to the more complex and obscure world of cabinet agencies, because rule-making and regulation is where today’s policy-making wars are fought.

Of course, it’s a different kind of warfare. Unlike the legislative process, where lobbying and dealmaking are more accepted, rulemaking is supposed to rest on an agency’s discretion, guided by technical analyses of economic impacts. Nevertheless, they’re still subject to outside influence — and on the most important rules, interested parties on all sides try their darndest to have an impact.

Source: Inside the battle to overhaul overtime — and what it says about how lobbying has changed – The Washington Post