Senate Democrats Fail in Bringing Minimum Wage Bill to Floor
Written by Alex Wiederspiel
Last updated on April 30, 2014 @ 6:30PM
Created on April 30, 2014 @ 5:43PM
So far three states in the country have voted to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and today the U.S. Senate brought that debate to the floor.
Or at least they tried. Senate Democrats did not get the 60 votes needed to open discussion on the floor. So for now the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour.
We already know that the state of West Virginia is raising it's minimum wage to $8.75 by 2016, so would Mountain State residents support an even higher increase?
President Obama and other Democrats say a measure like this would help 28 million people--a number which includes children of parents who are only making minimum wage. Some economists speculate that it could help lift as many as 4.6 million people out of poverty and possibly reduce those living below the poverty line by almost seven million down the road.
"This is going to hurt low-wage earners who are currently employed, and that's what the Congressional Budget Office said. And it's going to hurt the economy," Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said on the Senate floor.
"We are not going to compromise on locking people into poverty. $10.10 an hour is the bare minimum. If you work for $10.10 an hour and work for 40 hours a week you are on the borderline of no longer having poverty," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said during a press conference.
But after today's procedural vote failed, this doesn't look very likely.
Republicans say that they are willing to listen on this issue, but that they won't cave to an all-or-nothing proposal. The Democrats don't want to compromise on the number, and it's easy to see why when polls indicate that more then 66% of the country support raising the minimum wage.
"I think it's way too low. I think it should be up around the $9 range myself," Jimmy Hall of Point Pleasant told 5 News.
"I do believe it should be higher then that. It's really hard to support a family and pay your bills and stuff like that. Cost of living is pretty high," Kendra Connelly said to 5 News.
Hawaii recently joined Maryland as Connecticut as the only states who will be raising their minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
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