WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama blames Republicans for blocking an election-year increase in the federal minimum wage and says their vote denied millions of Americans a way out of poverty.
Republicans argue that an increase in the minimum wage would result in job losses. In a mostly partisan vote, the Senate failed to proceed to a full debate on the issue Wednesday.
The White House and Democrats are pressing for an increase from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Obama spoke at an event in the White House following the Senate vote.
Democrats believe the wage increase has widespread support and is a winning political issue heading into the November congressional elections.
Obama underscored the politics by saying that voters can ultimately vote opponents of a minimum wage out of office.