CNN.com wrote:Minimum wage bill stalls in Senate Republican bill, denounced as 'ploy' by Democrats, would also cut estate taxes. August 4 2006: 6:27 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Republicans Thursday night failed to advance a bill coupling a 40-percent increase in the minimum wage with a cut in estate taxes, which Democratic leaders had denounced as an election-year ploy.
A move by GOP leaders to cut off debate and move to a final vote on the bill failed to get the 60 votes it needed under Senate rules. The vote, which fell mostly along party lines, was 56 to 42.
After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist pulled the measure from the Senate floor. However, he switched his vote on the motion to cut off debate from "yes" to "no," a procedural maneuver which allows him to try to advance the bill again when lawmakers return from their August recess.
Noting that a majority of senators favored the bill, which passed the House last week, Frist said he was "confident that we could have finished the measure this weekend and presented it to the president in the next couple of days."
"I hope that the Democratic senators will rethink, long and hard, over the weeks to come before we return for business in September," Frist said.
Thursday's vote was a victory for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who had vowed to block the measure.
The bill would have raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over three years, the first increase in a decade.
It would also have replaced current cuts in the estate tax, due to expire in 2010, with new provisions eliminating the tax entirely on estates worth up to $5 million - $10 million for a married couple - and capping the tax at 15 percent on estates up to $25 million. Larger estates would be taxed at 30 percent.
In an effort to draw support of enough Democratic senators to advance the bill, Republican leaders also sweetened the measure with extensions of tax credits for state and local taxes, research and development and college tuition, which many Democrats support, as well as a program to reclaim abandoned mines, pushed by senators from coal-producing states.
But in the end, despite their traditional support for a minimum wage increase, most Senate Democrats voted not to advance the bill because it was coupled with the estate tax cut, which benefits higher-income taxpayers.
Senators from both parties have vowed to make both the minimum wage and estate tax key issues in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Last week, under pressure from about 50 moderate Republicans who wanted to boost the minimum wage, House GOP leaders agreed to a compromise measure that also included an estate tax cut to assuage conservatives opposed to a minimum wage boost. The bill passed the House 230-180.
by Absolutely Adequate » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:22 am
What actually happened:
1. Twice this year the Dems have proposed increasing the minimum wage and the GOP voted it down.
2. In an election-year ploy, the GOP brings up a vote so they can say (like STLSluggers above) that they supported the workers.
3. They ensure it will never pass by attaching a rider that says there will be no more estate tax. I can't find the numbers right now, but I think this would cost the American People 800 billion over the next 20 years while only benefiting 2000 families.
CubsFan7724 wrote:Bah, I could have used the raise
you assume you wouldn't get laid off as a result of you costing your employer too much. that may be a fair assumption in your case, but still an unknown.
Doubt it. Generally we don't have enough people working on any given day to handle rushes anyways. Doesn't matter, I'd have probably already left the job by the time this would kick into effect anyways (college, fall 07.)
This is ridiculous; both parties are such whiners and babies.
The democrats want a minimum wage increase, but the republicans have been opposing that forever because it'll lose jobs and blah, blah, blah... I don't know when republicans ever cared about low wage workers losing jobs, but I guess it's the business owners they're concerned about. So, Republicans say no to minimum wage increase.
Then you have the democrats, who want minimum wage increased simply because their constituency wants it, whether it will help them or not.
So the super sneaky republicans (led by super genius PA Senator Rick Santorum) decide "Hey, yeah, we'll give them their minimum wage increase... and throw in our estate tax reduction too." What a scam, the republicans knew the democrats wouldn't approve something like that. It's a desperate political tool the republicans are using in an election year to point more dirty fingers at the democrats. Why bother I say, the democrats will just dig their own hole eventually anyway... but regardless, Santorum can say bye bye to his senate seat.
The estate tax repeal by the way is something the republicans have been trying to do for a while now; since republicans are always looking for new and weird ways to lower taxes (yeah, well PA legislators, how about repealing the 18% "Johnstown flood relief" tax on all alcohol sold in the state? Huh? Where's that going now?). The estate tax, as I understand it, and simply put, is that when a really rich guy dies and leaves his huge, expensive estate to family, it's taxed by the government. Sort of like "you don't get anything for free" kind of thing. I agree it's a little shorthanded, but come on, these estates aren't cheap. I mean I don't know how much the government taxes you when your redneck Uncle Ned leaves you his dilapidated mobile home, but it seems like a small price to pay on millions of dollars inherited on property and assets.
I don't know, basically I think this whole thing is a way for both sides to continually go back and forth trying desperately to make the other look bad. Hopefully most Americans aren't too dumb not to see through it.
If you're a battery, you're either working or you're dead....