WASHINGTON, March 15 (UPI) -- The House rejected a bill Friday to raise the U.S. minimum wage, with Republicans arguing an increase would hurt "the nation's job creators."
The Democratic measure would have raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10 in steps over three years. The minimum wage has been $7.25 since July 2009.
The vote was 233-184, with six Democrats joining every Republican present in voting against it, The Washington Times reported.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., led the opposition, the newspaper said.
"We need jobs out there," Kline said during debate on the measure. "The best approach right now is to get federal spending under control and government out of the way of the nation's job creators."
"While corporate profits soar, while the Dow breaks new records and while the [chief executives] take home 380 times the wages of average workers, the lowest-paid workers are falling behind," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said.
President Barack Obama called in his State of the Union address for raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
The bill defeated in Friday's vote would have provided the first increase in two decades in the federal minimum wage for workers who rely on tips, the Times said. Federal law generally requires employers of most such workers to pay only $2.13 per hour in direct wages, unless income from tips does not raise their hourly total to "at least the federal minimum wage."