WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have again delayed debating a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 hourly, postponing work on one of President Barack Obama's top priorities.
Democrats had hoped to debate the legislation before the Senate's mid-March recess. Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat and the bill's author, said Tuesday that they now expect to consider it after lawmakers return in late March.
The delay will give more time for labor unions to organize support for the measure but also time for Republicans to try to answer with an alternative.
Democrats initially expected to debate the proposal in December and then early this year, but it slipped both times.
Harkin's bill would increase today's $7.25 minimum wage gradually until it hits $10.10 in 2016. He said he won't support a proposal raising the wage to less than $10.10 an hour.
“I'm not compromising on the amount,” he said. “I will never support an increase in the minimum wage that still keeps people below the poverty line. We've never done that in the past, and we're not going to do that now. We're going to get above the poverty line, and that's $10.10.”
This report includes material from Bloomberg News.
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