House Conservatives: $2 For Workers, But Only If Paris Gets Millions

ThinkProgress reported this morning that congressional conservatives were planning to allow a vote on the minimum wage today or tomorrow, but only if it was coupled with a poison pill provision that enacted Bush’s Associated Health Plans.

New reports indicate that conservatives are ditching one poison pill in favor of another. The AP writes:

Republican leaders are willing to allow the first minimum wage increase in a decade but only if it’s coupled with a cut in inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates, congressional aides said Friday.

The estate tax — aka the Paris Hilton Tax — benefits only the ultra-wealthy. This year, the exemption level is $2 million ($4 million per couple), which means only 5 out of every 1,000 people who die will pay the tax.

Bill Samuel, a lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, said adding the estate tax to the minimum wage “is the mother of all poison pills. It can’t possibly pass the Senate.”

Sen. Edward Kennedy added, “It’s political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans. Members of Congress raised their own pay — no strings attached. Surely, common decency suggests that minimum wage workers deserve the same respect.”