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The last time that Congress voted to raise the minimum age was 2007. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 raised the federal minimum wage in 3 increments: to $5.85 per hour 60 days after enactment (July 24, 2007), to $6.55 per hour 12 months after that (July 24, 2008), and finally to $7.25 per hour 12 months after that (July 24, 2009). Although passed by both Houses within the first month of the new Congressional session, it did not get signed into law until May, where it was enacted as a rider to the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007. As a part of that ultimate passage, $257 million worth of tax breaks for small businesses over a period of ten years were thrown in.

The bill, unfortunately and rather shamefully, did not increased the tipped minimum wage.

The only federal minimum wage increase under Obama's presidency occurred on July 24, 2009--and that was from this law signed into law by Bush in 2007.

I was curious to see which Republicans voted for the minimum wage increase back in 2007. The tax cut sweeteners did not appear in the original House vote but did appear in the original Senate vote--and the ultimate rider in May.

On January 10, 2007, the House passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 with a bipartisan majority of 315 to 116. All 233 Democrats and 82 Republicans voted for it. 116 Republicans voted against it.

It was the second bill passed that Congress (HR 2), after the Democrats flipped the House 202-232 to 233-202.

38 of the 116 Republicans who voted to increase the minimum wage are still in the House.

Robert Aderholt (AL-04)
Rodney Alexander (LA-05)
Spencer Bachus (AL-06)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
Jo Bonner (AL-01)

Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Shelly Capito (WV-02)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-04)
Charlie Dent (PA-15)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)

John Duncan (TN-02)
Randy Forbes (VA-04)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
Jim Gerlach (PA-06)
Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)

Walter Jones (NC-03)
Pete King (NY-02)
Tom Latham (IA-03)
Frank LoBiondo(NJ-02)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)

Candice Miller (MI-10)
Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Tom Petri (WI-06)
Ted Poe (TX-02)
David Reichert (WA-08)

Mike Rogers (AL-03)
Hal Rogers (KY-05)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)
John Shimkus (IL-15)
Mike Simpson (ID-02)

Chris Smith (NJ-04)
Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Michael Turner (OH-10)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
Greg Walden (OR-02)

Ed Whitfield (KY-01)
Frank Wolf (VA-10)
Don Young (AK)

John Boozman (R-AR), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) were all yes votes as House members but are now in the Senate.

The Democrats also flipped the Senate in 2006 from 45-55 to 51 to 49. (These numbers include the independents caucusing with the Democrats.)

The Senate passed a minimum wage increase a few weeks after the House (with the tax incentives as sweeteners for business interests), on February 1st, with a bipartisan majority of 94 to 3. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) were the three NO votes.

21 Republicans who voted YES are still in the Senate:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Susan Collins (R-ME)

Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)

The political context has changed a lot since then. In the 110th Congress, Democrats had just won the Senate and the House in an impressive victory, so pressure on Republicans would have been stronger. Republicans were a minority in both Houses, unlike today, where they hold a majority in the House which they are unlikely to lose in the near future. However, if you live in one of the states or districts highlighted above, you should ask your senator/representative about his/her change of heart against raising the minimum wage.

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