Joel Barkin Bio Blog Index RSS 08.02.2006 Republicans Show Their Hypocrisy on "States' Rights" (4 comments ) Some time this week the Senate will vote on the the estate tax/minimum wage bill that passed that House last week. This legislation is a disaster. The bill doesn't simply raise the federal minimum wage, it guts state law wage protections for roughly 1 million workers. The White House is aggressively courting legislator support on this bill, three top staff at the White House had a conference call this week urging all state legislators to lobby their Senators. The bill includes an increase in the minimum wage for most employees, "but would result in wage cuts for tipped employees in seven states and would restrict other states from extending additional protection to tipped workers, as a number may do this fall on ballot initiatives. This unprecedented action represents the first time in history Congress has moved to use federal authority to lower workers' wages -- setting a very unfortunate precedent. According to Congressman George Miller, the Senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, "Never before in the history of wage law has the federal government acted to preempt and eliminate a state law that provided for higher wages than federal law. The Republican Congress couldn't help itself. Even while the Republicans pretend to be helping workers, they are driving down wages of some of the lowest paid workers and putting a limit on how much a state can choose to help these workers." Don't be fooled, this bill is a cynical effort to allow rightwingers to claim voting for a minimum increase while forcing progressives to pick between higher wages for some at the expense of others and numerous horrible tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.