Wage hike stalls in the Senate

WASHINGTON A Democratic proposal to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time since 1997 stalled in the Senate Wednesday as Republican senators refused to push the measure forward without the insertion of tax breaks to offset the impact on restaurants and other small businesses.

The House easily passed a bill in early January that would increase the federal wage from its current $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour in three staged wage hikes. The measure was

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