Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Republicans Kill Minimum Wage Boost

The Republican-led Congress continues to push a central theme of Bush administration economic policy: Help the ultra-rich whenever there's a window of opportunity, but don't throw a bone to the working poor unless it's a political necessity.

House GOP leaders are striving to exempt more multimillionaires from the estate tax after failing to win its outright repeal in the Senate. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., proposed legislation Wednesday that would permanently exempt as much as $10 million of a couple's estate from federal taxation, up from $4 million now.

Meanwhile, GOP senators led the charge Wednesday against a predominantly Democrat-backed proposal by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to raise the shamefully low federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour to $7.25 over a period of more than two years. The proposal drew support from 52 senators on a procedural measure but needed 60 votes.

The federal minimum wage, which now has less buying power than in the 1950s, hasn't been raised in nine years. While the out-of-touch GOP hierarchy in Congress doesn't see the need for a badly needed boost in the wage floor, voters and legislators have taken matters into their own hands by raising the minimum wage above the federal level in 21 states and the District of Columbia, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. Several other states are considering minimum-wage increases.

Below is a list of the Senate vote defeating the proposed increase in the minimum wage on June 21, 2006, 11:20 AM.


Grouped By Vote Position YEAs ---52
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dayton (D-MN)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---46
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Not Voting - 2
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Shelby (R-AL)

Notice Presidential hopeful and Arizona Senator McCain voted against increasing the minimum wage. He is a familiar face on all of the news shows on TV and should be grilled for his position.

What do you think? Is it time for you to write to your representative?