b'LEGISLATIVEREPORThandful of wavering Representatives. The roll call on final passage dem-onstrated a stark partisan split. Only three Republicans voted yes. Only six Democrats cast negative votes.Current federal law allows an employer to pay a lesser cash wage of $2.13 per hour to a worker who cus-tomarily receives tips. A bartender or a member of the wait staff fits within this category. Of course, the combina-tion of the hourly cash wage and the actual tips received must add up to the federal minimum wage level or more. The Raise the Wage Act would phase out this tip credit provision over seven years.A state or other jurisdiction has the option of enacting its own minimum wage that is higher than the one set by the federal government. As of now, Washington, California, and Massachusetts have adopted $12 an hour, while the District of Columbia has a minimum wage of $14 per hour. The beginning of the year 2020 will bring further increases in several states. Some cities have or soon will have even higher minimum wage levels.President Trump has been ambiguous as to his thoughts about a minimum wage hike. In past state-ments, he has expressed some sympathy for the idea of a level of $10 per hour. He has more clearly stated his view that the appropriate minimum wage for one state might be totally in-appropriate for another. He has given no indication as to his possible response in the event Congress were to present him with the Raise the Wage Act for his signature into law.Such an event is an extremely dubious proposition. The United States Senate is the place where federal minimum wage legislation founders. The votes for passage in the Republican-controlled chamber are simply not there, and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, will not allow the bill to come up for a vote. The public debate as to what, if anything, is to be done about the federal minimum wage will not be resolved before the year 2021. nSEPTEMBER 2019FOGHORN 31'