CHN: More Twists And Turns For Increase In Minimum Wage

As reported in prior Human Needs Reports, the road to passage of an increase in the minimum wage has not been smooth.  First the House passed a clean bill increasing minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in three installments.  The Senate was unable to pass the increase without first adding $8.3 billion in business-related tax cuts to the bill.  The Senate could not send it’s bill to the House since all tax measures must originate in the House.
This week the House Ways and Means Committee approved a smaller $1.3 billion package of small-business tax breaks.  It includes some, but not all, of the provisions the Senate package and in some cases provides less generous extensions of time to save costs.  The House bill, for example, extends the work-opportunity tax credit for employers who hire low-income works, but only for one year instead of for five years as in the Senate bill.  Both bills assume that the tax cuts must be paid for, each using a different set of offsets.

As we go to press, the full House has not yet voted on the $1.3 billion tax cut package but is expected to approve it with bi-partisan support.  The House and Senate will then be ready to give the bills to a Conference Committee where negotiations will focus on the size of the tax cuts in the final bill.

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