The federal minimum wage has been frozen at $5.15 an hour since 1997. Its real buying power is at the lowest point in more than 50 years and brings a full-time minimum wage worker just $206 a week, $10,400 a year—far below the poverty line for even a small family.
Minimum wage workers, who gone more than a decade without a raise, are going to have to wait even longer, because the Republican minority in the U.S. Senate filibustered and blocked a vote on a House-passed bill that would give workers a $2.10 an hour raise over two years, no strings or special giveaways attached.
The House bill, passed Jan. 10, a is "clean" bill that simply raises the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25, with no business tax cuts or other special-interest provisions. When it became clear that there weren't the 60 votes needed to override the filibuster against the clean bill, that calls for a $2.10-an-hour raise for minimum wage workers, but hands businesses $8.3 billion in tax cuts.
Now, the two bills must be reconciled in a House and Senate conference and it isn't clear when that will take place.
urging Congress to support a clean minimum wage increase bill with no anti-worker strings attached.