Minimum Wage Hike DOA in Senate, but Could Boost Paychecks Anyway

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Minimum Wage Hike DOA in Senate, but Could Boost Paychecks Anyway

Pelosi says bill can prod employers into raising wages on their own

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A minimum-wage hike is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate, but House Democrats say the bill can still have an impact

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he doesn't expect to hold a vote on the bill to more than double the minimum wage over six years. Indiana Senator Todd Young says he doubts it would pass if there was a vote. Young argues it's a mistake to set a national minimum wage -- 29 states have minimums higher than the national standard now, and Young says that's how it should work. He says holding states like Indiana to the same benchmark as states with higher costs of living wouldn't put more money in people's pockets, but put people out of work.

Indiana's House delegation voted along party lines on a bill to boost the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.40, then add another $1.10 each of the next five years before topping out at 15 dollars an hour. Only nine House members broke party ranks, with six Democrats voting no and three Republicans voting yes,

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on a visit to Indianapolis, says even if the hike doesn't become law, the bill can nudge companies into raising wages on their own. She says seven out of 10 minimum-wage workers are women.

The minimum wage hasn't gone up in 10 years. State minimums range from Indiana and 20 other states at $7.25 to Washington State's 12 dollars an hour, which will rise next year to $13.50. Washington's law calls for cost-of-living adjustments each year after that -- House Democrats' bill would do the same with the 15-dollar minimum.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

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