Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cloture Reached On Minimum Wage Bill

Evidently the second time was a charm as cloture was reached in the U.S. Senate a few minutes ago on the minimum wage legislation, thus ending the Republican filibuster of the wage hike that easily passed the House of Representatives earlier in the month.

Cloture was achieved by a vote of 87-10.

"If cloture is not invoked, we're through with minimum wage," warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) before the vote, in a clear sign to Republican Senators that he will not allow them to use a minimum wage filibuster to stall having to vote on the pending Iraq war resolutions.

The measure that will now be voted on is a compromise bill that also gives $8 billion in tax breaks to small business, a price Reid said he was willing to pay to get a raise out of Senate Republicans for America's working poor.

"If that's the only way to get this out of here, I'm willing to do it to give 13 million Americans an increase in the minimum wage," said Reid, of the tax breaks that, while already paid for, should not have been necessary for a hike in the decade-old minimum wage.

Under Senate rules, Republicans can stall for a total of 30 more hours of debate, meaning that the final version of the minimum wage bill will receive a vote on Thursday night or early Friday morning at the latest.