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Schumer, Clinton Push for Federal Minimum Wage Increase

By Tabatha Thompson

Washington, DC – Senate Republicans blocked a proposed increase in the minimum wage last week. But Democrats who support the measure say that they will keep trying by attaching Congressional pay raises to the federal minimum wage.

New York Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Hilary Clinton are targeting fellow members of Congress who refuse to support an increase in the minimum wage.

"It is shocking that in this Republican do-nothing congress, even the minimum wage is something that they won't go for," Schumer said.

Republicans argue that higher wages will result in more unemployment. Democrats disagree, and point to Congressional salaries as evidence of wage inequalities.

"We should have raised the minimum wage sometime in the last nine years. We haven't," Clinton said. "But we have raised the pay of members of Congress significantly over that same period."

Senator Clinton introduced a bill in May that would require Congress to tie its pay raises with raises in the minimum wage. The state of New York already plans an increase to $7.15 in January 2007. Clinton and fellow Democrats hope to see that raised nationally to $7.25.