Sweetening the minimum wage bill

Hillary Wicai Jan 25, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The minimum wage increase we’ve heard so much about isn’t just gonna sail through Congress. Yesterday, the Senate sent a clear message to House Democrats. If you want a higher wage, you’ll have to give something to small business. Hillary Wicai reports.


HILLARY WICAI: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave the Senate the chance to raise the minimum wage by $2.10, all by itself, without amendments like tax breaks for small businesses.

The Senate needed 60 votes to cut off debate and pass the bill, but the Democrats don’t have that kind of majority.

The vote failed and observers say Reid made his point: The bill must include sweeteners to bring Republicans on board.

It was a point not lost on Author Beth Shulman. She’s an advocate for increasing the minimum wage.

BETH SHULMAN: Practically I think what we’re going to have to have is probably some tax incentives to get that bill passed.

So now the Senate begins work on completing a package worth about $8 billion in small business tax breaks.

The Senate could hold a final vote on the minimum wage plus tax cuts early next week.

In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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