Indiana senators split on minimum wage vote

The bill fell six votes short of the 60 needed for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $10.10 an hour.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 1:50 p.m.

Indiana's senators split their votes Wednesday, April 30, on a failed bill to continue debating whether to raise the minimum wage.

The bill would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. Its supporters fell six votes short of the 60 needed to keep the debate alive.

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly voted for the measure, while Republican Sen. Dan Coats voted against it.

"There's nothing more important than creating more opportunities for Hoosier families," Donnelly said in a statement. "You can work a full-time job in this country and still fall below the poverty line. We owe it to the Hoosier families that depend on minimum wage jobs to have this debate, which is why I'm disappointed the Senate failed to reach a bipartisan agreement to even have this important discussion."

But Coats, pointing to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report finding the increase could kill up to 1 million jobs, said that's too steep a price to pay. He noted that only 19 percent of total increased earnings from the minimum wage hike would support families below the poverty line.

"While some claim this legislation will merely add a few cents to the price of a burger, its actual cost will be far greater," Coats said in a statement. "The true problem plaguing impoverished Americans is not low wage rates but a lack of good job opportunities. Raising the minimum wage will fail to alleviate poverty because it will fail to address unemployed or underemployed American workers."

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