[<< wikinews] US minimum wage moves to Congressional negotiations
Thursday, February 1, 2007 
The United States Senate has approved a bill that will increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 [USD] over a period of two years. If passed and signed into law, this will mark the first time the minimum wage has been increased in 10 years. The measure will also decrease the amount of taxes that small businesses pay by about 8.3 billion dollars, which will balance out the cost to raise the minimum wage.
"[This is] a victory for the American people. Passing this wage hike represents a small but necessary step to help lift America's working poor out of the ditches of poverty and onto the road toward economic prosperity" said Edward Kennedy (D) the representative of the state of Massachusetts.
The measure passed with 94 votes. Three votes were cast against the bill.
Despite the approval, the full House of Representatives and the full Senate must agree on the measure before the bill is to be signed into law by president George W. Bush.
The current federal minimum wage is $5.15 [USD].


== Sources ==
Jim Kuhnhenn. "Senate Approves Minimum Wage Hike" — Guardian Unlimited, February 1, 2007
Thomas Ferraro. "Senate votes to raise minimum wage" — Reuters, February 1, 2007