2014-05-01T064945Z_3_CBREA3T197V00_RTROPTP_2_JAPAN-USA-OBAMA

Senate Republicans block Obama bid to hike minimum wage

U.S. President Obama gestures during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Abe at the Akasaka guesthouse in TokyoBy Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama blasted Senate Republicans on Wednesday just hours after they blocked one of his top legislative priorities, a bid to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009. “They (Republicans) prevented a raise for 28 million hard-working Americans. They said no to helping millions work their way out of poverty,” Obama said at the White House, backed up by low-wage workers. On a nearly party-line vote of 54-42, Obama’s Democrats fell short of the needed 60 Senate votes to end a procedural roadblock against a White House-backed bill.

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