Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Senate Republicans Filibuster Minimum Wage Increase

In a just completed vote in the U.S. Senate, Senate Republicans have blocked a minimum wage increase, deciding they won't help working families unless there are strings attached.

Every Senate Democrat voted for the clean bill to raise the minimum wage, including Senators Clinton and Schumer from New York, but Senate Republicans filibustered the bill. Because of the Republican filibuster, Democrats needed 60 votes to pass the bill instead of the usual 50. The vote was 54 votes for the clean minimum wage increase and 43 votes against.

So what comes next? Senate Republicans will be under pressure to back down from their opposition to raising the minimum wage and help working families. If the Senate passes a minimum wage increase paired with tax breaks then the House and Senate will negotiate over which bill to pass, a clean House bill or a Senate bill with strings attached. That raises a tough question: is it better to compromise and pass something now or keep fighting for a clean bill.

What do you think should happen?

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5 comments:

D.A. said...

This snag is about helping those affected by minimum wage. I do not understand why people such as yourself cannot understand this very simple point.

By giving tax breaks to the businesses who employ low-wage workers will better benefit everyone. Otherwise you would be looking at small business owners being unable to cover the costs of the bill. This would translate into a higher number of jobs lost.

That doesn't seem very helpful to those dependent upon the passage of this bill. Call me crazy but a lack of jobs would not better their situation.

Of course though, maybe it would. It would force minimum wage workers (I'm not talking about teenagers) to obtain more marketable job skills to better their situation.

Of course though, then we run the risk of more people on welfare due to the job shortages. Then the Government would be their bread winner and chances are they would have no incentive to get off their butts.

Here is food for thought...I never got a job from a poor man.

I look forward to your response and your debate here

Steve Perez said...

Reality and research show that raising the minimum wage helps the economy.

Businesses have gotten $300 billion in tax breaks since the last time minimum wage workers got a raise.

The buying power of a minimum wage salary - $10,712 a year - is at the lowest point it's been in more than 50 years.

So if you're going to say that we need billions more in tax breaks to offset raising the minimum wage then don't turn around and cry crocodile tears and say you care about working families.

D.A. said...

Please enlighten me what research you are talking about? Please cite the source.

Raises prices on Goods & Services, results in job losses, yep really helps the economy!

Matt Funiciello said...

I employ 45 people. I have been in business for over 17 years and I have never paid anyone the minimum wage. I struggle, like all REAL small businesses to balance the tightrope between just wages and health care and benefits that I feel are fair. Its very difficult but I and my chorts are not fighting each toehr, we are fighting against corporate freed and globalization.

Unlike D.A., who sounds like he has a job that involves living off the public tax teat, I makle my own way. I am NOT a corporate welfare recipient. That said, I honestly do not know a single REAL SMALL business owner who lives off that teat or who engages in welfare collection, either.

Those of us who run truly small businesses are real human beings and, politics aside, we could never live with ourselves while using people in this unethical manner.

It is the BIG businesses represented by the NFIB and other such "small business" lobbies that are the real issue. It is those entities thatsare scared to pay people a just and equitable wage for their work. How would they profit as obscenely as they currently do, otherwise? The "small" businesses these groups purport to represent are really the same corporate scum (WalMart and McDonald's) who have been so socially conscious as to bring us human slavery and widespread food poisoning.

These huge, unethical, non-human mechanisms are fully to blame for the lack of real movement in raising the minimum wage to a $7 level. It is far past time to talk about anything short of a $10 per hour minimum wage at the federal level. PERIOD.

Steve Perez said...

Preach on. Funny how the people who argue against raising the minimum wage aren't willing to cut their own salary.

Raising the minimum wage gives people more money to spend, which helps the economy.

Here's one of the many studies showing that raising the minimum wage helps the economy: this one's from the Fiscal Policy Institute titled "New York's 2005-2007 minimum wage increases: Good for the state's workers, good for the economy."