- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Politics to profits: Brothers launch new investing concept on Wall Street (10/19/17)1
- Load shift kills Jackson trucker (10/17/17)
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
- Cape Christian School burglarized (10/18/17)
- Food Giant in Chaffee is robbed (10/17/17)
- Owner of dinosaur relics demands new board of directors, business plan at Bollinger County Museum (10/17/17)
- Cape's casino flourishing as it celebrates fifth year (10/22/17)3
House passes minimum-wage increase
WASHINGTON -- The Democratic-controlled House voted Wednesday to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, bringing America's lowest-paid workers a crucial step closer to their first raise in a decade.
The vote was 315-116, with more than 80 Republicans joining Democrats to pass it.
"You should not be relegated to poverty if you work hard and play by the rules," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
The bill was the second measure passed since Democrats took control of the House, ending more than a decade of Republican rule.
The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would raise the federal wage floor by $2.10 from its current $5.15 an hour in three steps over 26 months.
The last increase was in 1997, when President Clinton prodded the GOP-controlled Congress to enact the increase. Republicans declined to approve another raise for the six years in which they held majorities in the House and Senate and President Bush was in the White House.
Organized labor and other supporters pitched the bill as badly needed assistance for the working poor.
Business groups and other critics said it could lead to higher prices for goods and services, force small companies to pink-slip existing workers or hire fewer new ones, and crimp profits.
The White House issued a statement saying it opposed the bill because it "fails to provide relief to small businesses."
Senate Democratic leaders have already signaled they will accept changes designed to shield small businesses from adverse consequences of higher labor costs.
"This bill increases costs for mom-and-pop businesses," said Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, contending the legislation doesn't do anything to help offset that burden.
The bill would raise the wage floor in three steps. It would go to $5.85 an hour 60 days after signed into law by the president, to $6.55 a year later and to $7.25 a year after that.