Congress has approved raising the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over a period of 26 months, but the legislation is attached to a bill that President Bush has already said that he will veto.
The minimum wage legislation was attached to a spending bill that included a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq. President Bush supports increasing the minimum wage but opposes a timetable on Iraq, saying he will veto any legislation that includes one.
If President Bush does indeed veto the legislation, lawmakers who support a minimum wage increase will have to go back to the drawing board. Democrats don't appear to have enough votes to override a veto.
Earlier this week, House and Senate negotiators had crafted a deal that removed one of the hurdles to passage of an increase to the minimum wage: tax cuts. The lawmakers agreed to a package of $4.8 billion in tax breaks for businesses to accompany the minimum wage increase.
Thirty-three states have approved minimum wages above the current federal level ($5.15 per hour).