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March 27, 2015

Senate Rejects Proposal to Raise Federal Minimum Wage

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) proposal to attach an amendment to the Senate’s budget plan that would have raised the federal minimum wage substantially died in a 52-48 vote. When Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) took the floor, he told his fellow lawmakers, “I’d urge my colleagues to vote no. This isn’t the proper place for this. It can be done as regular legislation at any time. This budget resolution is focused on balancing the budget in 10 years … Over a million new jobs could be created if our budget took full effect. That will create competition for employees. That will drive up wages. The minimum wage was designed to be a training wage that teaches people how to show up for work on time and how to learn a job before transitioning to new jobs. And those that do get advanced really quickly.” At least in the Senate, the lawmakers just needed to focus on passing a fiscally sound budget. It was the redder House that pushed conservative policies with the budget. But Sanders ought to be thankful his amendment was even considered. When Sen. Harry Reid was in power, he never considered amendments from the opposition. More…

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