House Passes Minimum Wage Hike With Veto-Proof Majority


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Just hours before president Bush's address to the nation on Iraq, the House of Representatives delivered on another of Nancy Pelosi's 100 Hours initiatives. The bill easily passed on veto-proof 315-116 vote that included 82 republicans voting along with the democratic majority.

The minimum wage, under this bill, would go from $5.15 to $7.25 over the next two years. If the bill becomes law, the minimum wage hike will go as follows:

  • $5.85 - 60 days after becoming law
  • $6.65 - 1 year later
  • $7.25 - 1 year later

Passage in the Senate will wait until the debate on lobbying reform to culminate toward the end of the week. It is unclear whether the senate will muster a veto-proof majority to pass the bill. It is, however, considered likely to be voted on and passed. For the vote to be veto-proof, 16 of the 49 republican senators would have to vote with the democrats.

The president has signaled a willingness to sign the bill if congress will enact tax benefits for small businesses to offset the potentially harmful effects of increased payroll expenses. The Senate, for its part, has been holding hearings on those issues with talks regarding repealing the estate tax, repealing the alternative minimum tax, and increased expensing levels for small businesses.

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