Vito opposed minimum wage bill, long before he voted for it
The Democratic-controlled House voted Wednesday to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, bringing America's lowest-paid workers a crucial step closer to their first raise in a decade.
The vote was 315-116, with 82 Republicans joining Democrats to pass it.
The full text of the bill, H.R. 2 is here. Rep. Vito Fossella was one of those 82 Republicans voting in the affirmative on this bill, which is wonderful news considering the staggering realities of poverty in Staten Island.
Now that would be a good end to the story, but it gets real interesting. The same exact bill was submitted in 2005, H.R. 2429 (compare the date and text to this one in 2007), back when the House was controlled by Republicans, like Rep. Fossella. Rep. Fossella refused to cosponsor the bill and refused to sign a discharge petition allowing it the chance to be brought to a vote on the House floor.
Since Rep. Fossella has been a member of Congress almost identical bills have been introduced in 1999 H.R. 325, 2001 H.R. 665, 2002 H.R. 4799, and the exact same bill was introduced in 2003 H.R. 965, and 2004 H.R. 4256. (My apologies for not having links for all, the THOMAS database does not supply permanent xml url's for the older bills)
So the question is what has changed? Why did Rep. Fossella refuse to support the exact same bill two and three years ago and the essentially identical bills five, six and eight years ago? Why has Rep. Fossella refused to allow workers in his district a minimum wage increase since at least 1999?