Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why Aren't These 21 Democratic Senators Not Supporting a Higher Minimum Wage Yet?

If the Democrats want to push the minimum wage as an issue in 2014, then they should all get behind a minimum wage increase. That shows a clear position and a clear contrast between the parties.

Tom Harkin's Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (S. 460), introduced last March and referred to committee (HELP) in December, would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over a two year period and then index it to inflation. The last time that Congress raised the minimum wage was in 2007, with the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. Obama has never signed a single minimum wage increase into law. The only increase that occurred during his presidency was in July 2009, the last increment of the 2007 bill.

Harkin's bill has 33 co-sponsors (32 Democrats plus Bernie). Mo Cowan, the interim senator from MA, and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) are no longer in the Senate. Consequently, there are 32 members of the Democratic caucus currently giving their official support to a higher minimum wage.

The Senate Majority Leader doesn't normally co-sponsor bills, so we'll give Harry Reid a pass.

There are then 22 members of the Senate Democratic caucus who haven't signed on. You should ask them why.

Max Baucus (D-MT)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

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