Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he will consider attaching a package of tax incentives for small businesses to a proposed bill that would increase the federal minimum wage.
Bills to boost the base wage over two years to $7.25 a hour from the current $5.15 are top priorities for Democrats in their first weeks as the majority party of the 110th Congress. House Democrats have a bill slated to come up for a Jan. 10 floor vote that does not contain tax breaks.
But in the Senate, where Democrats hold a thin 51-49 majority, Reid says he’s open to attaching the tax provisions. “If it takes adding small-business tax cuts to have a minimum wage increase, we’re going to do that,” he says. President Bush said in December he backs the wage hike along with “targeted tax and regulatory relief” for small businesses.