A top election-year proposal from Democrats -- a bid to raise the federal minimum wage -- was rejected by
"It's time for Republicans in
However, the effort made little headway with Republicans, who argued that the rate hike would cost jobs. The measure was blocked by a GOP filibuster on a party-line vote, 54-42.
"These are jobs where we learn to be dependable, to work with other employees and to learn that work ethic," Enzi said. Today's workers, he noted, often "don't know how to interrupt their texting to wait on a customer."
The proposal would have initially boosted the minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour, to $8.20, then again in 95-cent increments over two years to $10.10.
The issue had threatened to divide Democrats in an election year when several conservative-state senators are up for reelection.
But Tuesday, all Democrats voted to advance the measure, except Sen.
One Republican, Sen.
Senate Majority Leader