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May 23, 2007
Democrats Remove Big Obstacle to Minimum Wage Increase

A minimum wage increase could be making its way to President Bush's desk very soon.

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The minimum wage increase is attached to an Iraq spending bill that has been at the center of a struggle between Democrats and the president. In a previous version of the bill, Democrats set timelines for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, a move that prompted Bush to veto the entire legislation.

Democrats have decided to drop the timelines in a new version of the legislation, the New York Times reports. While the legislation would gain the support of the President, it may lose support among some Democrats who want to set deadlines on the country's military commitment to the conflict in Iraq, the newspaper notes.

If Congress and President Bush (who supports raising the minimum wage) ultimately approve the legislation, the minimum wage would increase from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over a period of 26 months. The newspaper notes that the legislaiton could reach the President's desk by the weekend.

The federal minimum wage has been $5.15 per hour for 10 years. However, 33 states have approved minimum wages above the current federal level. Ten of those states have linked future increases to inflation.

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