Senate Democrats failed Friday on a second attempt to stop a Republican filibuster of a bill to increase the $3.35 minimum wage to $4.55 over the next three years.
On a 56-35 vote, four short of the 60 needed, the Senate refused to limit further debate on the bill by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., calling for three annual increases of 40 cents an hour beginning in January.The Senate has been debating the bill for more than a week. Republicans, led by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, are pushing for a 90-day, 80 percent subminimum for new hires.
Vice President George Bush and his running mate, Sen. Dan Quayle, R-Ind., have demanded that any increase in the minimum wage be coupled with the creation of a subminimum.
While Bush, Quayle and Hatch have referred to the proposal as a "training" wage or a "youth training" wage, Hatch's amendment does not have the word "training" in it or any age limitations on its application.