So much for the working poor

The Senate defeats two measures -- one real, one fake -- to raise the minimum wage.

By Tim Grieve
Published March 8, 2005 2:33PM (EST)

We reported yesterday on the Senate's competing proposals to raise the minimum wage -- one, a real proposal put forth by Ted Kennedy, the other, a sham put forth by Rick Santorum in order to give Republicans cover for killing the Kennedy plan.

And now, we're not even a little bit surprised to report that neither plan is going anywhere. The Senate voted on both proposals last night. Although four Republicans (Sens. Chafee, Coleman, DeWine and Domenici) crossed over to support it, Kennedy's proposal went down 46-49. Santorum's poison-pill version went down 38-61.

Members of Congress, who now make about $160,000 a year, have given themselves at least five cost-of-living increases since the minimum wage last changed in 1997. American workers who still make $5.15 an hour will just have to wait.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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