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GOP blocks minimum wage bill in Senate

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The Federal minimum wage takes center stage today (Wednesday) in Washington.

President Barack Obama – fresh off his week-long trip to Asia – pushed for an increase from $7.25 to $10.10.

The measure failed to gain enough support in a procedural vote to open debate.

In framing the issue ahead of November’s midterm elections, Democrats have portrayed the GOP as insensitive to the needs of low-wage workers.

Polls show a strong majority of Americans surveyed back raising the minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25.

Even if the Senate had moved ahead with the legislation, there was little chance the House, which is led by Republicans, would have taken it up.

Supporters needed 60 votes to open debate in the Democratic-led chamber. They got 54.

President Barack Obama in February signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contractors beginning in 2015, and he is pushing Congress to do the same for all workers.