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01/30/07--Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., during a news conference on the minimum wage. Looking on are Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Sojourners President Jim Wallis, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The Senate voted Tuesday to cut off debate on a package combining small-business tax breaks with a minimum wage increase, clearing a path to passage of the measure before the end of the week. Senators voted 87-10 to invoke cloture on a substitute amendment to House-passed legislation (HR 2) that combines a three-step $2.10 hourly wage increase with an $8.3 billion package of small business tax breaks and offsetting increases. ÒThatÕs an extraordinarily strong vote, and it certainly indicates that progress is going to be made on this issue Ñ I would certainly hope the sooner, the better,Ó declared Kennedy, the billÕs floor manager. The tax package helped win substantial Republican support for the minimum wage boost, the first in 10 years. But the timing of a vote on final passage remained murky. Under Senate rules, foes of the measure could still use up 30 hours of debate on the substitute amendment after cloture. Congressional Quarterly Photo by Scott J. Ferrell

01/30/07--Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., during a news conference on the minimum wage. Looking on are Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Sojourners President Jim Wallis, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The Senate voted Tuesday to cut off debate on a package combining small-business tax breaks with a minimum wage increase, clearing a path to passage of the measure before the end of the week. Senators voted 87-10 to invoke cloture on a substitute amendment to House-passed legislation (HR 2) that...
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