Washington: US Senate Republicans on blocked a hotly-contested effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a move President Barack Obama vowed to turn to his party’s election-year advantage.
A united Democratic front convinced just one Republican, Bob Corker, to back the measure, and with a vote count of 54-42, it failed to earn the 60 votes necessary to overcome blocking tactics and begin debate on the bill.
Democrats hope the emotional issue will propel supporters to the polls in November’s mid-term elections, when Obama’s party will find itself in a battle to hold the Senate.
Even though the bill had little chance of passing a divided Congress, Democrats seek to capitalize on the effort, painting Republicans as out-of-touch elites unperturbed that those who work 40 hours per week at the current minimum wage of $7.25 still live in poverty.
Obama, who in February signed an order mandating federal contractors be paid at least $10.10, said the bill’s failure “makes no sense.”
Republicans have “increasingly failed to do anything when it comes to helping people who work hard to get ahead,” the president said.