Working families now guaranteed a raise from Democrats

Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA) has served in the United States Senate for over four decades and one of the main subjects to caused him endless heartburn in the last few years has been the battle he has fought to get a minimum wage increase for America's low-income families.

Kennedy, who will undoubtedly chair the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee when the new Congress convenes in January, got bills to raise the federal minimum wage to the Senate floor three times in the last two years, only to see all of those killed by Republicans on almost straight party-line votes.

"I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world," Kennedy said, in arguing for one of his defeated bills in 2005.

And Kennedy, who has long been the Senate's champion of worker rights, made a vow when the minimum wage increase was shot down in the current Congress for a third time in June of 2006, that voters could expect a different result if they retuned the Senate to Democratic control in November.

"When the Democrats control the Senate, one of the first pieces of legislation we'll see is an increase in the minimum wage," said Kennedy.

And that's about to come true in January.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.