[QUOTE]WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - A Democratic campaign promise to boost the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade moved closer to completion on Tuesday when U.S. Senate Republicans lifted a roadblock against it.
Full Senate approval is now possible because Democrats agreed to Republican demands to include tax cuts for small businesses to help cover the cost of raising the minimum wage over two years to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour.
On an 87-10 vote, the Democratic-led Senate agreed to end more than a week of debate and hold a vote in coming days on the bill to increase the minimum wage and provide about $8.3 billion in tax breaks.
The House of Representatives passed a bill that only raised the minimum wage and the two houses would have to resolve differences before a final bill can be sent to U.S. President George W. Bush to sign into law.
With the gap between rich and poor growing, Democrats promised a minimum-wage hike as part of their campaign that helped them win control of Congress from Bush's Republicans in November elections.[/QUOTE]
Market analysts have been more or less deeming stock in companies like Wal-Mart and Target oversaturated for the past several months, and that's mainly due to the expected minimum wage increase. Where I work, I've overheard financial advisors by the boatload on the phone with their clients advising everyone and anyone to either dump or not invest with companies that rely heavily on minimum wage, all due to the expected increase.