Obama blames Republicans for blocking wage vote

President Barack Obama speaks about increasing the minimum wage, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Earlier, Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to the president on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. (AP Photo)
President Barack Obama speaks about increasing the minimum wage, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Earlier, Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to the president on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama blames Republicans for blocking an election-year increase in the federal minimum wage and says their vote denied millions of Americans a way out of poverty.

Republicans argue that an increase in the minimum wage would result in job losses. In a mostly partisan vote, the Senate failed to proceed to a full debate on the issue Wednesday.

The White House and Democrats are pressing for an increase from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Obama spoke at an event in the White House following the Senate vote.

Democrats believe the wage increase has widespread support and is a winning political issue heading into the November congressional elections.

Obama underscored the politics by saying that voters can ultimately vote opponents of a minimum wage out of office.

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