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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after a group of House Republicans sent a letter to the Republican leadership urging a vote on an increase in the federal minimum wage before the end of July:
"Democrats welcome our Republican colleagues joining with us to pressure their leadership to allow a House vote on increasing the minimum wage. This is a matter of doing what's right and fair. Yesterday's vote on the vocational education bill was further evidence of what Democrats have been saying: There is a clear majority in the House who support increasing the minimum wage.
"However, it is important that any vote on the minimum wage is a clean up or down vote, and that Republican leaders do not add any 'poison pill' provisions such as tax cuts for the wealthy or unfair changes to labor laws.
"It also must be a real increase, at minimum the $2.10 increase over two years that Democrats have proposed.
"And finally, Democrats will continue to pursue this issue after a House vote. Republicans should not simply look at a House vote as a way to take this off the proverbial table to score political points before the election. Our goal is to give hard-working Americans a pay raise, not simply a vote of support in the House.
"Furthermore, I urge those Republican Members who do support increasing the federal minimum wage to sign on to the Democratic discharge petition introduced by Rep. Barrow (D-GA) that would bring this issue to the floor for a vote."