Senate Republicans blocked a vote on legislation yesterday that would increase the federal minimum wage.
The Senate voted 54-42 along party lines to end debate on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act – short of the 60 votes needed to move forward. The bill, introduced last November, would raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10 over three years, then index for inflation.
“The workers who’d benefit from a minimum wage increase often work full-time, often in physically demanding jobs,” said President Obama in remarks after the vote. “They average 35 years of age. Most low-paying jobs are held by women. But because Republicans in Congress said “no” to even allowing a vote on the floor of the Senate, these folks are going to have to wait for the raise they deserve.”
Several states have taken action on their own and increased the state minimum wage, most recently Hawaii and Maryland. President Obama also issued an executive order in February raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) changed his vote from yes to no so he can bring up the bill again another time.
Media Resources: The White House 4/30/14; The Hill 4/30/14; Reuters 5/1/14; Feminist Newswire 2/14/14, 2/20/14, 4/30/14