(I could have phoned this one in, as it turned out.)
HouseThe bill eventually passed in the Senate, but as noted here, the Senate and the House will negotiate on a final bill which will be sent to Dubya (and God only knows what he’ll do in when it reaches him).
Congressional pensions. The House voted, 431-0, to deny congressional pensions to members convicted of crimes such as bribery, perjury and fraud. The measure (HR 476) goes to conference with the Senate.
All Philadelphia-area representatives voted for the bill.
Minimum wage. Senators failed, 54-43, to reach the 60 votes needed to advance a bill (HR 2) raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over 26 months.
A yes vote was to advance the bill.
Voting yes: Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), Bob Casey Jr. (D., Pa.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).
Not voting: Thomas Carper (D., Del.).
State wage sovereignty. The Senate rejected, 69-28, a proposal to abolish the federal minimum wage and allow each state to set its own base wage. States now must abide by the federally set floor but can require a higher minimum wage.This week, the Senate debated measures disapproving of President Bush's Iraq war escalation (as noted previously, the pointless Levin-Warner declaration); the House voted on stopgap appropriations for agencies still without regular 2007 budgets.
All Philadelphia-area senators voted to keep the federal minimum wage.
Illegal immigrants. Senators voted, 94-0, to amend HR 2 (above) to deny federal contracts to companies found to have hired illegal immigrants. Firms would be exempted from the provision if they used the government's online database to verify worker information.
All Philadelphia-area senators voted for the measure.