Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase


CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The Senate has voted to raise the minimum wage by more than two dollars, to seven-25 an hour.

The vote was 94-to-three on the bill, which includes eight (b) billion dollars in tax breaks to ease the impact on small businesses.

Senator Edward Kennedy called the increase "a small but necessary step" to helping the working poor escape poverty. Republicans stressed the importance of the business tax breaks in the bill, though smaller than they previously had sought.

Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says those breaks help show "that small businesses have been the steady engine of our growing economy."

But those tax breaks are not part of the bill approved by the House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated some of those breaks could be stripped from the final bill.