5 comments June 21st, 2006at 11:41pm Posted by Eli
The Senate on Wednesday defeated a proposal pushed by Democrats that would have given some of the lowest-paid hourly workers a boost in their wages for the first time in nearly a decade.
A majority of the Senate, 52 senators, voted in favor of incrementally raising the federal minimum wage — unchanged since 1997 — 40 percent from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 by January 1, 2009.
But the measure needed 60 votes to win under a procedural agreement worked out earlier.
[Senator Edward] Kennedy acknowledged to reporters that it will be “pretty difficult” to win a minimum wage increase this year. He said the pay raise for about 7 million workers and their families would be a top priority if Democrats win control of the Senate in November’s elections.
Kennedy also chastised Republican leaders for blocking a minimum wage increase while pursuing repeal of the estate tax, which mostly helps the wealthy, and taking “plenty of time to debate flag burning. I don’t know the last time a flag was burned in my state of Massachusetts,” Kennedy said.
This is yet another one of those slimy, pro-corporate votes that Democrats should be hanging around Republicans’ necks in 2006. They need to find a way to get this in the faces of poor, minimum-wage Republican voters (I’m betting there’s more than a few) and make them understand that it’s the Republicans keeping them down, not the Mexicans.
Republicans don’t care about poor people. It’s that simple, and the Democrats must get the message across. There’s a lot more poor people than rich people.