US Senate Playing Games With Minimum Wage Increase - Southern Maryland Headline News

US Senate Playing Games With Minimum Wage Increase

Despite polls that show 89 percent of the American people support an increase in the federal minimum wage, Senate inserts massive tax cut provisions they claim are needed to pass the bill.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives, led by Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and Southern Maryland's Steny Hoyer (D), last week passed H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The act will increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over the next two years.

Today, the Senate Finance Committee tied $8 billion in tax breaks for businesses to the Senate version of the minimum wage increase bill. Proponents of the measure say it is necessary to get the minimum wage increase passed. Opponents note that this is the first administration in American history during which tax cuts have been passed in time of war. They also note that the current U.S. budget deficit stands at $8,682 billion, which equates to $28,869 per person living in the U.S.

Majority Leader Hoyer expressed disappointment in the decision noting that minimum wage earners have already waited nine years and four months for a raise. "The choice to tie a bill raising the minimum wage to tax breaks for businesses will cost taxpayers $8 billion and complicate and delay the passage of an increase," said Hoyer in a statement. "Passing a clean minimum wage bill is a matter of doing what is right and what is fair. According to Newsweek, 89 percent of the American people support an increase in the federal minimum wage, and they should not have to spend $8 billion in order for Congress to do the right thing.”

The Senate Finance Committee is made up of eleven Democrats and ten Republicans. The Democrats include: Max Baucus, MT; John D. Rockefeller IV, WV; Kent Conrad, ND; Jeff Bingaman, NM; John F. Kerry, MA; Blanche L. Lincoln, AR; Ron Wyden, OR; Charles E. Schumer, NY; Debbie Stabenow, MI; Maria Cantwell, WA; Ken Salazar, CO.  The Republicans include: Charles Grassley, IA; Orrin G. Hatch, UT; Trent Lott, MS; Olympia J. Snowe, ME; Jon Kyl, AZ; Craig Thomas, WY; Gordon Smith, OR; Jim Bunning, KY; Mike Crapo, ID; Pat Roberts, KS.


Contact both of your Senators and let them know how you feel:

Cardin, Benjamin L.- (D - MD) Class I
(202) 224-4524

Mikulski, Barbara A.- (D - MD) Class III
(202) 224-4654

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