Saturday, January 27, 2007

Burgess Explains Why He Voted Against Minimum Wage

H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, was part of the Democrats "100 hours" agenda to raise a minimum wage that has been stagnant for almost a decade. A previous post on this bill noted that nearly all area Republicans voted against the increase.

As noted, Burgess was among those Republicans voting against an increase. A concerned constituent recently received a letter from Burgess explaining his rationale for voting against raising the minimum standard, currently stuck at $5.15. Steve Southwell, at Whosplayin, reviewed the arguments and apparently didn't find them too convincing. Here's a sample:

[Burgess:]I was especially disappointed that this legislation did not go through the regular committee process, which includes holding hearings that allow all sides of the issue to be taken into account.

Sour grapes, anyone? MICHAEL BURGESS, THE PEOPLE HAD THEIR HEARING ON NOVEMBER 7TH. We demanded that you weaselly Congressmen quit stalling and playing politics and raise the minimum wage. When the Democrats took control, they took this issue away from your committee because you had proven yourselves useless on getting it done. In 100 hours, the Democrats got it done. You didn't get your chance to attach your neo-con anti-consumer, pro-aristocracy policies to it. Pause for the sound of me playing my violin for you.

Oh, and there's more. Go read it.

So what's next for minimum wage bill? Unfortunately, the Republicans may yet get to attach their neo-con, anti-consumer, pro-aristocracy policies to the bill. The bill passed the House with the unanimous support of Democrats, but failed so far to pass the Senate due to a backlog of amendments introduced by Republicans. The Democrats have failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. This caused Senator Kennedy to bellow at his Republican counterparts [and if you haven't seen Kennedy's impassioned plea from the Senate floor, you really must]:
What is the price that the workers have to pay to get an increase? What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?"
The Senate now plans to add tax breaks for small business in order to pick up the needed votes to end debate. The bill would then go to conference, where the House has demanded a bill free from tax breaks. What happens then is uncertain.

Oh, and as long as the Senate debate is tied up on the minimum wage bill, the Iraq war resolution is on hold.

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