Senate Republicans have blocked an election-year bill by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin that would have raised the federal minimum wage.
Harkin is a Democrat and he chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He says his bill would gradually raise the wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.00 over a period of 30 months.
In addition to raising the wage nearly three dollars an hour, Harkin’s measure also calls for automatic annual increases in the wage to offset inflation.
Harkin says if the wage hike was approved, it would have given consumers another 35-billion dollars to spend at local businesses, helping boost jobs and production.