Well it shouldn’t be a surprise but the U.S. Senate can not come to a compromise. This time it’s minimum wage. Currently the lowest possible wage an employer can legally pay their employees is $7.25/hr. The goal had been to raise it to $10.10, though it most likely will not happen. Supporters of the bill lacked just six of the 60 votes needed for it to pass. It failed with the vote at 54-42 with all but one republican voting against it.
One of the major oppositions of the bill is that the raise is too much. They also argue that businesses would be forced to downsize in order to maintain the profit margins that they expect. The last time the minimum wage was raised was in 1968. To put this in perspective, $7.25 had the same buying power then as $49.84 does today. Working full-time at minimum wage equates to a yearly average salary of $15,000. Hardly enough to get by in most parts of the country. Meanwhile the average net worth of members of congress is around $1 million. These are the people who are suppose to have our best interests at heart. But with securities ranging in the millions there’s no way they can relate to the general population.
Republicans viewed the bill as a mean to appeal to democratic voters rather than a serious attempt to raise wages. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was reported as saying, “Today’s vote is an attempt to score a political point.” The democrats are going to have a tough time keeping their seats in the senate in the upcoming midterm elections. Maybe the republicans have a point but we sure hope not. Anyone who’s had to rely on minimum wage can attest to the fact that even the best budgeting can not make those dollars stretch far enough. We don’t think that everyone should be turned into a millionaire but they should be able to put food on the table every day.