Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed Labor Department funding bills for fiscal 2001 that block OSHA from issuing final rules governing workplace ergonomics.

President Clinton will veto any legislation that stymies ergonomics rulemaking, according to the White House. "It’s clearly time to finalize this standard," Clinton said in a statement.

The next move is for the House and Senate to reconcile differences in their two funding bills. One difference: The Senate has voted to increase OSHA’s budget by $44 million next year—the amounted requested by the Clinton administration—while the House freezes OSHA spending at the current level of $382 million.

The dispute needs to be resolved by the end of September or the Labor Department may be without funding come the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.