Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Minimum Wage Vote Vexing for GOP

After Wednesday's Senate showdown rejecting a hike, Democrats hope to gain a potent campaign issue for fall.
WASHINGTON – In an election year, it's a dream issue for the Democrats: The Republican-controlled Congress has not raised the federal minimum wage in nine years, despite strong public support for an increase. Wednesday, the Senate voted down a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage, by a vote of 52 to 46, and also struck down a Republican version that included provisions the Democrats consider poisonous.

At the current minimum wage, $5.15 an hour, a full-time worker would earn $10,712 a year, which is below the federal poverty line for a family of three. The Democrats propose an hourly increase of $2.10, and promise that if they take over control of Congress after the fall elections, they will raise the minimum wage on their first day in power.

The public backs the Democrats. An April survey by the Pew Research Center shows 83 percent of the public favors raising the minimum wage by $2. That figure includes 72 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of people with household incomes of $75,000 or higher.
Read the whole thing here.

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