The U.S. House on Friday rejected a Democratic attempt to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, with all three Minnesota Republicans and one Democrat siding against the increase.
The 233 to 184 vote represented a defeat for a significant element of President Obama’s State of the Union agenda, though the White House had called for a smaller increase – from the current $7.25 to $9 an hour.
DFLer Collin Peterson was among six Democrats from conservative-leaning districts who voted against the measure, which Democrats tried to attach to a jobs bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.
Peterson, however, ended up voting against the underlying GOP workplace bill.
Kline, along with Minnesota Republicans Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen, voted against the wage increase.
The Democrats’ plan would have raised the minimum gradually over three years, which they say would benefit 30 million workers and improve the economy by increasing consumer spending power.
Republicans argued that the measure would do just the opposite.
"We need jobs out there,” Kline said. “The best approach right now is to get federal spending under control and government out of the way of the nation's job creators."
Kline’s bill, called the SKILLS Act, would consolidate 35 federal programs for job training, adult education and literacy education into a single, broad-based workforce program to be administered by the states.
That overall bill passed on a 215-202 largely party-line vote, with Peterson switching back to vote with the Democrats.
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