WASHINGTON - August 4 - Last night the Senate told the Republican leadership in no uncertain terms to stop playing games with the minimum wage. The estate tax bill is a “poison pill” that stands in the way of minimum wage workers getting a long overdue pay raise.
The Republican estate tax bill would blow a $753 billion hole in the federal budget, and working people will have to pay that price one way or another. If these costs are paid for with budget cuts to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, veterans programs, and unemployment insurance, the estate tax bill will end up hurting the very same people that a minimum wage increase is supposed to help. And for what? So that the 8,200 wealthiest estates in America can get an average tax break of $1.3 million? That’s not a fair deal for working Americans.
Passing a minimum wage increase does not have to be so hard. It would be simple to enact a $2.10 increase in the minimum wage without poison pills. A majority in both houses of Congress already supports a $2.10 increase without poison pills.
The only thing stopping minimum wage workers from getting a $2.10 pay raise is the unwillingness of the Republican leadership of Congress to allow consideration of a clean minimum wage bill, with no poison pills and no strings attached.
Minimum wage workers should not have to get in line behind Paris Hilton and the Wal-Mart heirs to receive the long overdue pay increase they rightly deserve.
We call on Congress to learn the lessons from today’s vote and hear the voices of the American people. No more games. No more poison pills. No more cynical maneuvers. Raise the minimum wage now.