Senate Republicans have blocked a bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Forty-two Senators voted against the measure, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
â??The focus should be helping Americans struggling in this weak economy, and the folks who are struggling the most are the millions without a job,â?? Portman said in a statement released after the vote.
Portman points to a study from the Congressional Budget Office. A February study from the CBO says the proposed wage increase could cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs.
â??In this weak economic recovery, we should be focusing on polices that help, not hurt, Ohioans who are out of work,â?? Portman said.
Toledo business owner Dave Schultz called Sen. Portman and urged him to vote in favor of a minimum wage increase. He has ten employees who make at least $11 an hour. Ohioâ??s minimum wage is $7.95.
â??Iâ??m disappointed,â?? Schultz said after the vote. â??I would hope that our Congress people would have the working families at mind when theyâ??re voting on these things.â??
Tom's Bar-B-Q owner Tom Bolander, on the other hand, is pleased by the vote. He says if minimum wage increased to $10.10 an hour, he'd have to raise his prices.
"They should just go ahead and pay them instead of making it a federal law," Bolander said. "If they want to pay their employees $10.10 an hour, then go ahead and pay them $10.10 an hour."
The measure needed 60 votes in favor of a wage increase to advance. It fell short six votes.