Wage Update: House Approves, Senate Moves In Wrong Direction

Bill Scher

Minutes ago, the House approved increasing the hourly minimum wage to $7.25, over two years. The vote was strong, 315 to 116. Democratic support was unanimous. The GOP caucus was split, with 82 supporting and 116 opposing.

Over in the Senate, CQ reports that Sen. Max Baucus “unveiled four proposed breaks” for business to be added to a minimum wage bill. Further, Dem Sens. Maria Cantwell, Kent Conrad, John Kerry, Blanche Lincoln and Ken Salazar all signaled support for the tax breaks.

This is not sitting well over at MyDD. Jonathan Singer writes:

“There is no reason whatsoever for the Democrats to give in to the demands of the business lobby at this point. The service and retail sectors spent big dollars in recent years to convince the Republican Congress not to increase the minimum wage … good policy does not include handing massive giveaways to the business lobby to buy their support for legislation they have fought with all of their might to oppose.

“Simply put, Americans rejected the position of these special interest lobbyists last fall, and Congress must listen to the voters rather than K Street.

“It is certainly possible that the Democrats, at this point, do not have enough votes to invoke cloture on a clean minimum wage bill in the Senate. But if this is the case, then the Democratic leadership in the chamber should at least hold a vote to put Republican Senators … on the record either for or against raising the minimum wage.”

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