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US Senator Reid Backs Minimum Wage, Small Business Tax-Break Plan January 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday he’ll back a package of tax breaks for small businesses if they are needed to win passage of an increase to the federal minimum wage.

“If it takes adding small business tax cuts to get a minimum wage increase, we are going to do it,” Reid said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has said he will work with Republicans to craft such a plan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said they were already on the way to reaching such an agreement.

House Democrats plan to move to the House floor legislation increasing the federal minimum wage next week.

That bill will raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour in three increments over two years and two months. It will also extend the minimum wage, on a separate timetable, to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

The legislation includes no other provisions and House Democrats passed a resolution Friday that will bar Republicans from trying to amend it.

In the Senate, where Democrats have a narrower margin of control and where rules are more favorable to a determined minority, Reid said he’ll instead follow the advice of former Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, and former President Bill Clinton: “Work with Republicans.”

“We are not going to go butting our head against the wall,” Reid said. “First, it doesn’t feel good, and second it doesn’t accomplish anything.”

By John Godfrey, Dow Jones Newswires

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