The groups want Congress to consider a minimum-wage increase and tax cuts as separate legislation.
A coalition of national business groups is urging Congress to remove a provision to raise the federal minimum wage from the disputed Iraq war spending bill.
President Bush on Tuesday vetoed the spending bill, which contained a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. He also repeated his pledge to veto any legislation that included a timetable for troop withdrawal.
The provision also includes $4.8 billion in tax cuts for small businesses aimed at offsetting the wage increase, among other measures.
Democratic lawmakers are expected to present a second Iraq spending bill within the next few weeks, which is likely to include the wage hike and small-business tax break package.
Officials from the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Retail Federation are pressing lawmakers to consider the wage hike and tax break package as a standalone bill. They also called for additional tax breaks to offset added payroll costs for smaller employers.
"There is no reason this issue should be tied to a massive war spending bill," the group said in a joint statement on Thursday. "Congressional leaders shouldn't muddy the waters and confuse the issues surrounding the minimum wage by adding it to a controversial war bill."
Rep. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who introduced an earlier version of the minimum-wage bill that was later rejected, has defended its inclusion in the Iraq spending bill, saying a fair minimum wage reflects the values for which U.S. troops are fighting.
"Americans believe that hard work should help you build a better life for your family. They believe that a job should keep you out of poverty, not force you to live in poverty," Kennedy said this week.
The current provision would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over the next two years and includes $4.8 billion in tax breaks. Democrats made the wage hike a legislative priority after taking control of the Congress last year.