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Congress Agrees on Tax Cuts for Minimum Wage Bill

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders in the House and Senate said they have reached an agreement on a $4.8 billion package of tax cuts for small businesses that could help gain passage of a minimum-wage hike. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said they had reached a compromise between the $1.3 billion in tax cuts approved by the House and the $12 billion sought by the Senate. The bill was attached to the war-spending bill, which is expected to be vetoed by President Bush, but it could be sent though again attached to other legislation or as a stand-alone bill, according to reports. The bill calls for raising the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next two years.