House, Senate set to reconcile minimum wage bills
Now that the House and Senate have decided to increase the minimum wage, they have to agree on how to do it.Late last week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour and provide businesses $8.3 billion in tax breaks to offset the cost of the higher payrolls. The 94-3 vote came after two weeks of debate. The measure would hike the minimum wage, currently at $5.15 per hour, for the first time in nearly 20 years.
In January, the House voted 315 to 116 to approve a minimum wage increase but did not include the tax provision in its version. Inclusion of the tax credits puts the Senate's bill at odds with House Democrats, who strongly oppose such measures. The two versions will need to be reconciled before being sent to the president for his signature.