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House Republicans tried to pass a package of bills this week that they said would improve the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s oversight of employers. Democrats said the legislation was an election-year gift to big business, intended to weaken regulation and hurt workers. “Don’t hamstring small businesses’ ability to continue to hire new workers and compete in our economy,” said GOP Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee. “That’s why these bills are important.” Republicans argued the four bills make technical, easily understood changes that remove unnecessary red tape on employers and improve the regulatory process. “I would argue the bills enhance OSHA’s ability to work with employers in a voluntary way to increase the health and safety of workers,” Boehner said. Democrats countered that none of the four bills does anything to improve job protections for workers, and Republicans are looking out only for their employer campaign contributors. “You never get any bills from them seeking to protect workers,” Rep. Major Owens, D- N.Y., said about the Republicans. The bills, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga.:

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