House Passes Minimum Wage Increase

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The Democratic-controlled House has overwhelmingly voted to increase the minimum wage by more than two
dollars, to seven dollars and 25 cents an hour. The vote was 315 to 116.

It would be the first increase for the nation's lowest-paid workers in almost ten years.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says people "should not be relegated to poverty if you work hard and play by the rules." Opponents warned the increase would force small businesses to lay
off workers and might also mean higher prices.

This bill doesn't include any tax breaks to help small businesses deal with the extra cost. But the Senate version of the bill is expected to.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)