Senate Republicans block minimum wage increase
WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic bill to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, demanding it first include small-business tax relief.
Democrats fell short of the 60 needed to end debate and go to passage of the House-passed measure, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour over two years.
Republicans demanded tax breaks be added to the legislation to help small business cover the proposed pay hike for millions of America's lowest paid workers. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they would be willing to go along with some sort of tax relief if necessary to win approval.