The first minimum-wage increase in 10 years took a hit in the Senate Wednesday, failing to get the 60 votes necessary to end debate. Republicans have been fighting to include tax cuts for businesses, and will probably succeed unless the Dems can get six more defections.
New York Times:
Next, the Senate will debate what kind of tax breaks to attach to a wage increase. Then, the Senate will have to agree with the House. President Bush has signaled that he would sign a bill providing for a wage increase with related tax breaks.
All 43 “no” votes on the motion to end debate were cast by Republicans. Five Republicans joined 47 Democrats and two independents in voting “yes.” They were Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John W. Warner of Virginia and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine. (Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, and Senators Tom Carper of Delaware and Tim Johnson of South Dakota, both Democrats, did not vote.)
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, expressed disappointment over the Senate vote. “Our colleagues in the House came together—Democrats and Republicans—and they passed a minimum wage bill with no strings attached,” he said.
Low-wage workers “deserved the same respect from the Senate,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We should have passed this bill today and put it before the president for his signature this afternoon. We will not rest until we do right by working families.”
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