According to BNA, Senate Majority Leader Reid announced yesterday that he might bring the minimum wage bill to vote in the Senate without a conference on the disparate Senate and House tax measures ($8.3 billion in new revenue reductions in the Senate bill, only $1.3 billion included in the House bill). The House is firm in its views that a minimum wage increase that has been delayed for years and is in fact not likely to be a big cost for many businesses (because it is no higher than existing state minimums in many cases) doesn't need another huge rash of tax breaks to smooth its passage. Senate Republican Conference Chair Jon Kyl,however, has resisted conference unless the House gives in and provides even more revenue reductions that favor business.
Have the Republican leaders in Congress, like Kyl, lost all measure of understanding that this economy depends mightily upon ordinary working taxpayers? The more citizens are forced into low-wage jobs, the less they have to spend on the "consumer society" that has been keeping the US economy afloat. Small business has already gotten a plentiful share of tax breaks over the last 6 years. Workers have hardly kept their heads above water. It's time for a wage increase. And the proposed wage increase is not going to break business's back. Just do it, without the revenue reductions.