by Cristina Begoña Martin Firvida
Yesterday, the House and Senate sent the President the Iraq “emergency” spending bill, and last night the President vetoed it. In his remarks before the nation to explain his veto, the number one reason the President provided was his opposition to the timeline for pulling American troops from Iraq. Not mentioned in his speech was a different timeline that the President also vetoed last night – the timeline to gradually increase the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over the next two years.
The minimum wage increase was included in the Iraq supplemental as a way of moving the legislation which had stalled over the issue of business tax cuts – the Senate wanted business tax cuts in exchange for the wage increase, and the House did not. Now, the increase in the minimum wage is held up again.
Who is hurt by this delay? Women. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and overall women are twice as likely as men to work for the minimum wage. Over 9 million women would benefit from the minimum wage increase that was vetoed. And women have been waiting a long time – ten years, in fact – for the federal minimum wage to be increased. We hope Congress and the President won’t keep 9 million women waiting too much longer…