100 Hours Paper - Minimum Wage

100 Hours Paper - Minimum Wage - 1 Section AE The First 100...

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1 February 22, 2007 Section AE The First 100 Hours: Increasing the Minimum Wage The Democrats first hundred hours in control of the House of Representatives brought the promise of raising the federal minimum wage for the first time in ten years. The Democrat’s crafted a strategy to use overwhelming public support to push through an increase to $7.25 an hour and prevent tax cuts to small businesses that Republicans demanded in the process (Andrews; Polling Report). This strategy was ultimately successful in demonstrating to the American people that the Democrats cared about the average American. By standing up against tax breaks for businesses, Democrats showed voters that they would not be won over by business interests and would quickly pass legislation that the public demanded. The Democrats were undaunted by the failures in the recent past to enact this legislation. The federal minimum wage was first created in 1938 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It has generally been increased every few years. The Democrats stated policy on the federal minimum wage, as part of their first 100 hours agenda, was to pass an increase from $5.15 an hour to $7.25, to be phased in over the next two years. Republicans favored the increase as well but believed it must be combined with tax breaks for small businesses. This is what has prevented an increase from become law during the last ten years (Andrews). In 2000 Congress passed a minimum wage increase along with small businesses tax cuts, however President Bill Clinton threatened a veto of any final bill that involved tax cuts. This resulted in the death of the attempted increase (About). During the last Congress, a minimum wage bill was stalled over tax breaks on large estates (Cooper). The issue in Congress has had less to do with
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2 wanting a minimum wage increase and has been more concerned with what addition tax breaks, if any, should be married to the bill. The strategy the Democrats used to successfully pass their legislation involved several resources. They started by supporting a total of thirty bills in state legislatures to raise state minimum wage during 2006. In the November elections they also supported ballot measures in six states to increase the state minimum wage. All of those measures passed during the election (Stateline). This helped to build up strong public opinion, which was another Democratic
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100 Hours Paper - Minimum Wage - 1 Section AE The First 100...

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