US Senate has blocked a bill to increase the federal minimum wage, reports indicate.
Democrats suffered a setback after they failed a 54-42 test vote. The bill needed 60 to pass.
Republicans argue that increasing the wage bill would have ramifications on employers since the extra cost of employing would force the job market to reduce employment opportunities to meet the high cost.
The bill by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa sought to raise the minimum wage gradually from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 over a period of 30 months.
The gradual increase would then provide an automatic annual increase to account for the possible inflation.