[Vision2020] House Backs Higher Minimum Wage

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Jan 11 06:34:56 PST 2007

>From Today's (January 11, 2007) -

"It was approved 315-116, with 82 Republicans joining 233 Democrats in
voting for it. All the no votes were cast by Republicans."

Representative Bill Sali, who continues to be inaccessible to the citizens
of Idaho from his website at http://sali.house.gov/, voted against this


House backs higher minimum wage 
Bill likely to gain tax breaks in Senate

Richard Simon 
Los Angeles Times
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON - The House's Democratic majority, exercising its new political
clout, on Wednesday approved the first increase in the federal minimum wage
in a decade - from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years.

The measure heads to the Senate, where it is likely to be coupled with tax
breaks for small businesses to win Republican votes in the narrowly divided
chamber and to secure President Bush's signature.

The federal minimum wage has been unchanged since 1997, the longest period
without a raise since the first minimum wage was enacted in 1938.

Washington - where the minimum wage increased to $7.93 Jan. 1 - is among 29
states with minimum wages that exceed the existing federal rate. Idaho's
minimum wage is $5.15.

An increase in the minimum wage was among the initiatives House Democrats
pledged to pass during their first 100 hours in power.

It was approved 315-116, with 82 Republicans joining 233 Democrats in voting
for it. All the no votes were cast by Republicans.

"What a difference an election makes," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.,
chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said workers relying on $5.15 an
hour were "essentially living in poverty."

The White House said in a statement that an increase in the minimum wage
should be tied to tax and regulatory relief "to help small businesses stay
competitive and to help keep the economy growing."

Under the measure approved by the House and introduced in the Senate, the
wage would climb to $5.85 an hour 60 days after the legislation is enacted,
$6.55 a year later, and $7.25 another year later.

The minimum wage, first enacted at 25 cents an hour as part of President
Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to pull the nation out of the Great
Depression, has long been a rallying point for Democrats.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, contended that employers would cut jobs and
benefits to pay for a minimum-wage increase.

"The truth is that mandated minimum-wage increases hurt small businesses,
thus impeding job creation and ultimately hurting the people it is designed
to help," he said.

Senate debate on a minimum-wage increase is expected to begin as early as
next week.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate committee that
handles labor issues, has championed the minimum-wage increase. Wednesday,
he called the House vote a "major victory" for 13 million minimum-wage

"But the fight is not over yet," he said. "We will need support from both
parties to pass this important bill and send it to the president."

The restaurant industry and other employers were already at work lobbying
the Senate for tax breaks for small businesses.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,
predicted a wage increase would be accompanied by tax breaks for small
businesses in the Senate bill.

"Small-business tax packages have traveled with minimum-wage increases
before," he said. "The Senate will probably vote to attach such a package to
this year's minimum-wage increase as well."


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"Forty percent of the mass of every tree in the forest is crude oil.  Stop
and think about that.  We call them fossil fuels because they used to be
live stuff . . . now in the ground is turned into crude oil." 

- Bill Sali (September 21, 2006)

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