The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Don’t Let Politics Block America’s Raise

Posted by thelamp on February 11, 2007

Last week, the U. S. Senate passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage, but its version is different – and more controversial – than similar legislation that cleared the House in January.

Although both chambers proposed increasing hourly income for some of America’s lowest-paid workers from $5.15 to $7.25 by 2009, the Senate included tax breaks to help small businesses. The two bills will need to be reconciled before a final version can be sent to President Bush for his signature.

Minimum-wage earners won’t be able to take their raise to the bank as long as Democrats and Republicans refuse to compromise. At the moment, the bill is stuck in legislative limbo.

Click here to send an e-mail urging Congress not to delay in giving America a raise.

The sticking point between the two versions is $8.3 billion in Republican-backed tax breaks for small businesses in the Senate version. House liberals argue that now that they’re in charge they shouldn’t have to cut deals with the Republicans. Senate Democrats have said that without the tax breaks they can’t pass the bill because they don’t have a big enough majority to pass the bill without addressing Republicans’ concerns. On the other side of the political tug of-war, President Bush said that the tax breaks are the price of his support for raising the minimum wage.

If the public turns its attention away from the daily dealings on Capitol Hill now that the first 100 hours of Congress have come and gone, the wage increase could end up among the unfinished business of the 110th Congress. Minimizing the increase’s impact on small businesses is compassionate, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

“Americans must remind Congress of the purpose for the legislation,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, president and founder of the Center for Moral Clarity. “Supporters of a pay raise for America’s workforce must not allow partisan posturing and bickering to derail this important congressional action. Simply put, an increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. There’s too much at stake to let it stall now.”

There are abundant arguments against raising the federal minimum wage. Some say it’s bad for business. Others claim it will bring unemployment. There’s also the contention that it will disproportionately benefit teenagers living at home, who don’t live in poor families. None of the arguments is persuasive, because to Bible-believing Christians, the minimum wage is not an economic issue; it’s a moral issue – a matter of social justice. An honest, diligent day’s work simply is worth much more than $5.15 per hour in today’s economy. It would be both wise and compassionate of Congress to pass legislation this year mandating a significant increase in the federal minimum wage.

Hopefully, enough of the men and women elected to represent hard-working citizens will realize that this is one of those instances where moral responsibility hinges on doing what’s right regardless of the political fallout. The pending bill conference between House and Senate leaders will be the perfect opportunity for true statesmen to emerge and act in the best interests of the nation. If they don’t, politics as usual will prevail, and America will lose.



2 Responses to “Don’t Let Politics Block America’s Raise”

  1. cumby said

    The two questions I have about raising the minimum wage is:1- will more young and poor people will be laid off because businesses will have to cut back due to increased wages. 2- Will there not be as many hired as in the past for this same reason?

  2. The Lamp said

    My question that I asked our Senators is as a result of a wage increase, will everything else increase in price…in the end, the raise will mean nothing. But I agree with you.

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