WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Democrats succeeded Thursday in blocking a Republican effort to link an increase in the minimum wage to a permanent cut in the estate tax.
The bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, would have hiked the minimum wage by $2.10 an hour, in the first increase in almost 10 years. But the Republican leadership failed to gather the 60 votes needed to bring it to a vote, The New York Times reported.
Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has said he would not try to bring the measure up for another vote before the November election.
Republicans argued that the estate tax cut would help create jobs by providing an incentive for owners of small businesses.
"It is an excuse to make it a do-nothing Congress," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said. "And we are turning our back on the middle-class and poor people in this country who depend on the minimum wage and death-tax relief."