The minimum wage bill passed yesterday by an even wider margin than the national security bill, 315-116, with 80 Republicans voting with the Democrats.

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 by 2009, giving millions of poor Americans their best prospects in a decade to earn higher standards of living.

The legislation, which passed 315-116 with support from more than 80 Republicans, doesn?t include tax relief for small businesses, which President Bush says must be a part of any increase he signs.

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.

The last increase was in 1997, when President Clinton successfully prodded the GOPcontrolled Congress to enact the increase.

6 of the 10 Republicans in Ohio’s Congressional delegation supported the bill. Hobson, Tiberi, Chabot, and Boehner (big surprise) voted against it.

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