(Aug. 3) Turning typical politics upside down, Senate Republicans were supporting an increase in the minimum wage and Democrats were lining up against it in a showdown in early August.

Senate legislation, already passed by the House, would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over three years and couple the wage increase with estate tax relief.

While labor unions and the Democrats have lined up against the bill, Republicans and their allies in the business community are supporting it, believing that the relief from estate taxes is worth the tradeoff in the minimum wage.

The outcome of the expected Aug. 4 vote was considered too close to call, Washingotn sources said Aug. 3.

The legislation would exempt from taxes all estates worth as much as $5 million—$10 million for a married couple. After that, a 15% tax would apply to estates up to $25 million.

Some Democrats also were opposing the Senate bill because it would mandate that the federal minimum wage would have precedence over state minimum wages.