U.S. Senate rejects minimum wage increase

Estate tax provision kills wage bill

The United States Senate once again rejected raising the nation's minimum wage.

The Republican-sponsored bill, which would see the minimum wage increase from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over the next three years, received the approval of the House of Representatives but failed to pass the senate.

Supporters of raising the minimum wage, but who voted against the bill, said they did so because it contained an estate tax provision that would have increased the amount of an estate exempt from taxation to $5 million for an individual and $10 million for a couple.

Critics said lost revenue from this exemption could could have led to reductions in federal programs upon which many minimum-wage earners rely.

Earlier this year the senate voted 52-46 in favour of a similar bill, sponsored by the Democrats, but it was eight votes short of the 60 needed to pass.

The American minimum wage has not increased in the past decade. Adjusted for inflation, the U.S. minimum wage hasn't been this low since 1955.

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