KENNEDY APPLAUDS MINIMUM WAGE DEAL
Today, as the House and Senate supplemental conferees finish up their work, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the lead advocate for increasing the minimum wage, applauded the conferees' decision on the minimum wage portions of the bill. The tax package included in the bill - which will include $4.8 billion in tax cuts - is significantly lower than the $12 billion package that was included in the Supplemental in the Senate.
"I am pleased that the House and Senate have reached an agreement that --- after 10 long years -- will finally allow a minimum wage increase to proceed to the President's desk. After a decade of struggle, fairness and decency finally are winning out for 13 million hardworking Americans who have been waiting too long for a raise. Six million children have been waiting too long for better food, better health, and better opportunities for the future.
While I have always supported a minimum wage increase with no strings attached, I'm glad that we've been able to agree on a smaller tax package than the Senate-passed bill. I don't believe we need to load on more tax breaks for business before we can give Americans a raise.
Our troops are away fighting to provide a better future for the people of Iraq. We need to show the same commitment to provide a better future for their families, friends, and neighbors here at home. There are 50,000 military families that will benefit from this increase in the minimum wage.
I hope the President will do the right thing for our troops and for America's low-wage workers by signing this important bill."