WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday approved a $2.10-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage.
The vote in favor of raising the minimum wage in three steps was 315-116, with 82 Republicans joining all 233 Democrats in voting for the legislation, The New York Times reported.
The measure would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from the current $5.15 per hour.
"This is the day for the people who empty the bed pans, change the bed linens, sweep the floors and do the hardest work of America," said U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., before the House voted.
The legislation next goes before the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to pass. U.S. President George Bush has indicated he would sign a bill raising the minimum wage if it also contains language to offset the raise with tax breaks for small businesses.