Feb 01 2007

House, Senate could face off

The Sand Mountain Reporter

By David Clemons


A hike in the minimum wage could pass the Senate as soon as today.

The Senate appears poised to pass legislation to increase the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 2009.

The bill includes tax breaks for small businesses. The House minimum wage increase doesn’t include tax breaks, and the houses must reconcile their differences before a wage increase goes to President Bush.

The increase passed the House 315-116.

“Nobody should be denied a living wage and the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., who voted for the bill.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has expressed support for increasing the wage if there’s help for small businesses.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said he’s not convinced a wage increase is a good idea.

“We haven’t had a minimum wage increase in a number of years now, but probably 98 out of 100 economists would tell you that, if you increased it $2, $4, $10 an hour, it wouldn’t create jobs and it’s not good for the economy,” he said.

Shelby said he won’t support an increase of the minimum wage by itself but was willing to consider it if coupled with tax breaks for small businesses.