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Warrior
Mar 8th, 2005, 04:09 PM
Updated: 10:26 AM EST
Senate Votes Down Minimum Wage Hike Proposals
Rival Democratic, Republican Measures Fall Short
By DAVID ESPO, AP


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The Senate voted on competing amendments to raise the minimum wage, though the House had said it would not accept either proposal.

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WASHINGTON (March 8) - The Senate defeated dueling proposals Monday to raise the $5.15-an-hour minimum wage - one backed by organized labor, the other salted with pro-business provisions - in a day of skirmishing that reflected Republican gains in last fall's elections.

Both plans fell well short of the 60 votes needed to advance, and signaled that prospects for raising the federal wage floor, unchanged since 1996, are remote during the current two-year Congress.

''I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world,'' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., arguing for the Democratic proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2.10 over the next 26 months.

Republicans countered with a smaller increase, $1.10 in two steps over 18 months, they said would help workers without hampering the creation of jobs needed to help those with low skills. ''Wages do not cause sales. Sales are needed to provide wages. Wages do not cause revenue. Revenue drives wages,'' said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

The Democratic amendment was defeated, with 46 votes for and 49 against. The GOP alternative fell by a wider margin, 38 for and 61 against.

While the outcome was never in doubt, Democrats said in advance they hoped to use the issue to increases chances for passage of state minimum wage initiatives in 2006, as well as to highlight differences with Republicans who will be on the ballot next year.

Kennedy accused Republicans of advancing a ''deeper poverty agenda'' for the poor by including several provisions to cut long-standing wage and overtime protections for millions of Americans. He took particular aim at Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., a conservative who is atop the Democratic target list for 2006 and the lead supporter of the GOP minimum wage alternative.

''The senator from Pennsylvania has a record of opposing increases in the minimum wage,'' Kennedy said. ''He has voted against it at least 17 times in the last 10 years.''

''I have not had any ideological problem with the minimum wage, '' Santorum responded, adding he voted for the last increase to clear Congress, in 1996. He said the other elements of the GOP plan were designed to help small businesses and give workers more flexibility in their work schedule, and not, as Kennedy said, weaken their rights.

Democrats sought minimum wage increases in three steps of 70 cents each, to $7.25. Republicans countered with raises in two steps of 55 cents apiece, to $6.25, as well as several pro-business provisions.

These include an option for employees to work up to 80 hours over two weeks without qualifying for overtime pay; a provision restricting the ability of states to raise the minimum wage for restaurant employees; and waiving wage and overtime rules for workers in some small businesses now covered.

The clash unfolded as part of a debate over business-backed legislation to overhaul the nation's bankruptcy laws.

The overall measure enjoys bipartisan support, although no vote on passage will occur until the Senate settled the minimum wage dispute and resolved companion controversy over allowing protesters at abortion clinics and other sites to avoid paying court fines by entering bankruptcy.

Republican aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had the votes to prevail on that showdown, as well, and send the measure to the House later in the week. ''It's an uphill fight but it's not over,'' said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., author of the proposal.

Democrats conceded in advance they were certain to lose the minimum wage vote, particularly given the Republicans' four-seat gain in last fall's elections.

At the same time, they said they hoped to raise the issue to increases chances for passage of state minimum wage initiatives in 2006, as well as to highlight differences with Republicans who will be on the ballot next year.

Santorum was chief among them, the third-ranking member of the GOP leadership and an outspoken conservative. Democrats and Republicans alike said his decision to be the public spokesman for the Republican alternative reflected the potential significance of the issue.

At the same time, the Republicans' decision to allow a vote reflected their confidence that they could prevail. The GOP majority maneuvered successfully in the past two years to block votes on the issue, when Democrats might have won.

''When you raise the minimum wage you are pricing some workers out of the market,'' said Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H. ''It is an economic fact, and the proponents of raising the minimum wage like to dismiss this by saying we have a hard time measuring it and the economy is large.''

Countered Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa: ''This is a values issue. This is at the heart of what kind of country we want.''

While Democrats sought only an increase in the minimum wage with their proposal, Republicans expanded theirs to include business regulatory relief as well as tax breaks totaling $4.2 billion, most of it directed toward the restaurant industry.

Forty-one Democrats, four Republicans and one independent voted for the Democratic proposal. All the votes in opposition were cast by Republicans.

All 38 votes in favor of the GOP proposal were cast by Republicans. Opposed were 43 Democrats, one independent and 17 Republicans.



03-08-05 0803EST

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Mar 8th, 2005, 04:23 PM
What four Republicans voted for the Democrats proposal?

Probably the sane ones like Chaffe, Snowe, and Collins.

harloo
Mar 8th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Wow raising the minimum wage to $7.25 is a strain? It just proves how heartless the Republicans are and it's quite sad. They are so much in support of big business they don't care about human life.

Crazy Canuck
Mar 8th, 2005, 08:35 PM
$5.15-an-hour minimum wage

That's MIN wage?! Holy Hell. I sincerely hope that the cost of living in the USA is much cheaper than it is here, because MIN wage in Ontario (it varies from province to province here in Canada) is a full dollar more than that (in USD), and I know for a fact that you can hardly live off that :eek:

Bacardi
Mar 8th, 2005, 09:48 PM
That's MIN wage?! Holy Hell. I sincerely hope that the cost of living in the USA is much cheaper than it is here, because MIN wage in Ontario (it varies from province to province here in Canada) is a full dollar more than that (in USD), and I know for a fact that you can hardly live off that :eek:

Depends. Like here, a gallon of the cheap brand of milk is like $3.25 Bread is about $2.25 a loaf. And so on. So it's certainly not cheap. I think minimum wage needs to go up, but people say if it goes up, the prices of certain things go up too. And I disagree with that, I think the rich are just wanting to keep it down to keep getting richer.

nash
Mar 8th, 2005, 09:59 PM
Depends. Like here, a gallon of the cheap brand of milk is like $3.25 Bread is about $2.25 a loaf.

:eek: You pay that much for bread and milk in Virginia?

Crazy Canuck
Mar 8th, 2005, 10:05 PM
:eek: You pay that much for bread and milk in Virginia?
That's just what I was thinking :eek: I can get a loaf of bread for a dollar CAN... I don't buy milk though, so I don't know how much that is. We don't sell milk by the gallon here anyways.

I didn't ask for a comparison to suggest that Canada was "better", btw. I know how people who live on MIN wage live here, and it's not all that pretty either. I was just surprised at how little 5.15 sounds, even with the exchange. But there are other things to consider... I suppose that cost of living varies from area to area, much like it does here.

G-Ha
Mar 8th, 2005, 10:20 PM
Depends. Like here, a gallon of the cheap brand of milk is like $3.25 Bread is about $2.25 a loaf. And so on. So it's certainly not cheap. I think minimum wage needs to go up, but people say if it goes up, the prices of certain things go up too. And I disagree with that, I think the rich are just wanting to keep it down to keep getting richer.

That's nothing...I just bought a gallon of milk for $5.49! Granted, it was organic milk, but even non-organic is at least $3.49 here. Plus, outside of Hawaii, San Diego usually pays the highest in gas prices. The cost of living is VERY high here...but, California's minimum wage is $6.75, not $5.15...

Bacardi
Mar 8th, 2005, 11:11 PM
BTW, those prices are just for the Off Brand of Milk/Bread. Like the store chain brand. The national stuff, is a lot more expensive. It's completely insane. Such is why I dislike the Bush Administration. I know prices go up, so much every few years, but since he's been in office it's completely insane to watch what it's been going up as. Hell I can remember when regular unleaded gas was just 76 cents a gallon, that was when he first went in... Now it's more than double that... getting close to triple. I'll never understand why people voted for him. Even thou they got some tax cuts, can't they see they are paying more for basic everyday items?

Don't even get me started on the fact that a few years ago I could get a 20 oz Coke for 70 cents, now it's a $1.25 :mad:

And for the record, as long as Bush is in there... Forget minimum wage being any better... Just forget it. He's made it clear he's not here for the lil people. It's sad that many people who have to rely on working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs to support their family, still can't make ends meet enough to get off welfare or any other goverment support program.

ClijstersHewitt
Mar 9th, 2005, 01:23 AM
Depends. Like here, a gallon of the cheap brand of milk is like $3.25 Bread is about $2.25 a loaf. And so on. So it's certainly not cheap. I think minimum wage needs to go up, but people say if it goes up, the prices of certain things go up too. And I disagree with that, I think the rich are just wanting to keep it down to keep getting richer.

I've always heard (in my Econ classes in high school) that the market will just eventually adjust. It'll look good, but things will essentially be the same.

We don't have any milk atm, but my mom guessed that we pay around $2.89 a gallon (we live in a small town outside of San Antonio, Texas).

Sally Struthers
Mar 9th, 2005, 01:30 AM
Sally would abolish minimum wage laws

Bacardi
Mar 9th, 2005, 01:32 AM
Sally would abolish minimum wage laws

There you are, I was wondering where you had been ;)

Abolish them, you know, in a way if everyone earned the same there would be less problems. But then we'd be living in basically Commie country.... And we've seen how that failed in the past. :tape:

ClijstersHewitt
Mar 9th, 2005, 01:36 AM
Would abolishing minimum wage laws help the children?

Sally Struthers
Mar 9th, 2005, 01:38 AM
The minimum wage law keeps out people whose labor is valued by employers at less than the legally established minimum wage from entering the labor market thus lowering employment.

decemberlove
Mar 9th, 2005, 05:37 PM
NJ's cost of living is a 1/3 higher than the national average.

the min wage here is 5.15... thou they are trying to change that. with inflation, 5.15 is only about 4.49 today.

the average two bedroom appartment costs $1,200 a month excluding utilities.

the average min wage worker earns around $10,712 a year... below the federal poverty line. you do the math...

i don't understand how anyone is supposed to live off $5.15 an hour... they'd have to live in a car w/o car insurance, cos we have one of, if not the, highest auto insurance costs in the country.

Martian Willow
Mar 9th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Who buys milk by the gallon? :awww:

Minimum wage here is 4.85, going up to 5 if Blair gets in again. That's $9.35 according to xe.com. :)

Stamp Paid
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:01 PM
:sad: Ramen noodles for dinner still... :awww:

Infiniti2001
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:12 PM
Who buys milk by the gallon? :awww:

Minimum wage here is 4.85, going up to 5 if Blair gets in again. That's $9.35 according to xe.com. :)

lots of families let me tell you-- and I know for a fact that a family of 3 can go through that one gallon in like 4 days.

Stamp Paid
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:24 PM
Who buys milk by the gallon? :awww:

Minimum wage here is 4.85, going up to 5 if Blair gets in again. That's $9.35 according to xe.com. :)

My family for one. When there were 4 of us kids who ate cereal every morning before school, a gallon was most prudent.

Is it that odd? :confused:

harloo
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:25 PM
It's cheaper to buy milk by the gallon. You even get a good deal if you buy 2 gallons of milk you pay like $6 here. You have to find the deals. Most folks go into stores and pick up anything without even looking at the price.

I suggest clipping coupons and waiting for items to go on sale and double up. I do it all the time and save tons of money. I just don't know how some people live on minimum wage though, it's quite sad and those in congress who are making the laws will pay one day for promoting poverty.

Crazy Canuck
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:41 PM
There you are, I was wondering where you had been ;)

Abolish them, you know, in a way if everyone earned the same there would be less problems. But then we'd be living in basically Commie country.... And we've seen how that failed in the past. :tape:

I'll be damned if my earning potential is comprimised. I'm smarter and more hard working than some people, therefore I should make more than them someday :p

For now I'll deal with my shitty student jobs. Roughing it builds character :devil:

ClijstersHewitt
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:43 PM
There's only 3 of us at home now, and we still buy our milk by the gallon--I just picked up 2 gallons this morning, in fact. I got the off-brand for three bucks a pop. I expect I'll have to head back to the store for more before the week is out.

Sally Struthers
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:45 PM
it's quite sad and those in congress who are making the laws will pay one day for promoting poverty.

Yeah the ones who came up with raising minimum wage. If you raise it, then of course some families will benefit but the net effect is that it will cause business to cut down on the jobs available to pay for the higher wages, locking more people out of the job market. Unemployment will increase and more will fall into poverty.

The minimum wage is antiquated and is just a means for politicians to look "caring" towards their voter base.

Rocketta
Mar 9th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Well what did you expect? Compassion? Ha. :lol:

Martian Willow
Mar 9th, 2005, 07:47 PM
I don't know anywhere that even sells gallons of milk. You get either 1, 2 or 4 pint cartons. And I can't remember ever buying 4 pints. I bought 2 today cos I'm making rice pudding. :lick: I think a British gallon is bigger than an American one though.

Crazy Canuck
Mar 9th, 2005, 07:50 PM
I'm not entirely sure how much a gallon is. They tend to sell it by the litre here. :shrug:

fka
Mar 9th, 2005, 07:58 PM
I don't know anywhere that even sells gallons of milk. You get either 1, 2 or 4 pint cartons. And I can't remember ever buying 4 pints. I bought 2 today cos I'm making rice pudding. :lick: I think a British gallon is bigger than an American one though.



Yum :lick: rice puddin. What else you make today?:)

Martian Willow
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Cullen Skink, badly. :)

fka
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:08 PM
Cullen Skink, badly. :)

lol What the hells that?

Martian Willow
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:12 PM
Smoked haddock soup, with mashed potatoes in it to make it all creamy. :)

fka
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:20 PM
Smoked haddock soup, with mashed potatoes in it to make it all creamy. :)


Never had you down as a culinary scholar. Hehe

decemberlove
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:24 PM
I'm not entirely sure how much a gallon is. They tend to sell it by the litre here. :shrug:

one gallon is almost four litres... i think.

i find milk to be really disgusting... it always smells sour to me. i rarely use it, so i usually buy by the quart.

rice milk is pretty good with cereal.

Crazy Canuck
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:52 PM
I don't drink milk either. I will buy a litre of lactose free milk once in a while to go with pasta sauces that call for milk... but either than that, meh. I don't like the taste enough to drink it, I'm lactose intollerant anyways.