Thursday, October 20, 2005
Senate Republicans reject minimum wage increase
The Senate has just rejected a Democratic proposal to lift the minimum wage to $6.25 per hour. The minimum wage is presently $5.15 per hour and has not been raised since 1997. During the past eight years since the increase, transportation and housing costs for working Americans have soared. The Bush Administration and our Republican Congress have opposed a minimum wage increase and taken overtime pay away from millions of workers. Democrats must keep fighting for a living wage and the 40 hour work week. Low wages and dismal benefits are really a subsidy for big business as their employees can often qualify for food stamps and Medicaid programs. The Democratic Party needs to focus on representing the interests of working families. For too long, Democrats have been distracted by exotic social issues and allowed Republicans to get away with their hypocritical talk about compassionate conservatism and family values. It's hard to have family values without the wages and benefits to support a family.