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The filibuster: it's baaaack

By Owen Paine on Wednesday January 24, 2007 05:51 PM

How it works in the Senate these days:


Fifty-four senators voted to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour, without giving any more lucrative tax breaks to business. But because of the mostly Republican opposition to a clean minimum wage bill in the form of a filibuster, that was six votes too few for passage.

The 54–43 vote on cloture this morning (it takes 60 votes to end debate on a filibustered bill) means the Senate now will take up a minimum wage bill (S. 2) that, along with the $2.10 wage hike, will include the tax breaks and other giveaways....

Says Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), leading Senate proponent of a clean bill:

Adding a tax package to the bill creates procedural hurdles that will delay—perhaps significantly—the implementation of the increase. Minimum wage workers could wait months for a raise they so clearly deserve.
Notice, again, that the Republicans can filibuster but the Democrats can't. Now that's what I call usin' that fine Dixiecrat remnant the way it was intended.

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