Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Minimum Wage Proposal Shot Down


It's been eight years since Congress last increased the minimum wage, and it looks like they aren't going to do it again anytime soon.

From The New York Times, by way of Workspan Weekly...

"Under a deal worked out between Republicans and Democrats, the wage amendments considered on Monday were all but doomed from the start because they required 60 votes to be adopted. It has been eight years since Congress last increased the minimum wage, which now stands at $5.15 an hour.

The Democratic proposal to increase the minimum wage by 41 percent, to $7.25, over the next two years was sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. It was sought by organized labor and opposed by an array of business interests.

''The height of hypocrisy will be this afternoon, when those individuals in this Senate say no to a minimum wage increase of $7.25 an hour when this institution voted themselves a $28,500 pay increase over the last five years,'' Mr. Kennedy angrily declared shortly before the amendment was defeated as 49 members voted against it and 46 voted for it. ''Minimum wage has been flat all these years, but not for the members of this Congress.''

But Republicans denounced the measure, saying that it would do more harm than good.

''By raising minimum wage, you are pricing some workers out of the market,'' said Senator John E. Sununu, Republican of New Hampshire. ''It is an economic fact. Proponents of the minimum-wage increase like to dismiss this.''

Congressional aides said Mr. Kennedy would offer the amendment again in other legislation.

The Senate also defeated an alternative amendment by Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, that would have raised the minimum pay level by $1.10, to $6.25, over 18 months. Thirty-eight senators voted for the measure and 61 voted against it.

The proposal was supported by some business groups and opposed by organized labor because it would have eliminated overtime pay in many circumstances and excluded millions of workers now eligible for minimum wage and overtime provisions. The Santorum amendment also provided for about $4 billion in tax breaks for smaller businesses."

1 comment:

  1. Just a few quick questions. if $7.25 is a good minimum wage, why no make it $20. or $30?

    Why is there no "maximum wage?" If government is going to interfere in the free markets, why not have them control it all? Do you trust the government to act in your best interest???


Stat Counter