Tish Wells / McClatchy

The Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Senate plans test vote Wednesday on minimum wage

Published: Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 - 2:02 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 - 3:19 am

The Senate plans a test vote Wednesday on raising the minimum wage--and it’s expected to all but doom the effort this year.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, set the procedural wheels in motion Monday, as the Senate returned from a two week spring recess. Increasing the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 has been a Democratic priority, but Republicans have balked.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told Senate colleagues Monday the plan would eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said there will be a drop in employment.

Democrats insist the increase would boost the economy, particularly for those who need it most.

“If a person works 40 hours at $10.10 an hour, you’re no longer in poverty,” Reid told the Senate.

Republicans, he said, “refuse to allow millions of Americans the opportunity to get out of poverty by giving them a raise.”

Sixty votes are needed to continue debating the measure Wednesday. Democrats control 55 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and are not expected to get enough Republican support to keep going.

Read more articles by David Lightman

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