Dems Want To Raise The Minimum Wage To $10.10 Per Hour By 2015
TLDR: Senate Democrats plan to discuss their legislative strategy for raising the minimum wage to over $10 an hour at a lunch meeting today.
Senate Democrats have once again moved up their timetable for pushing labor reform as they are now meeting as early as today to discuss lifting the federal minimum wage to over $10 per hour. Specifically, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015 using three separate increases of 95 cents but he has yet to gain support from all Democrats in Congress, even just those within the Senate. Further the biggest hurdle likely comes from the fact that the President has yet to voice support for Harkin’s proposal. Normally the strong lobbying support from labor groups would have nudged the President into endorsing such an initiative sooner. But since the President no longer has to worry about his personal reelection and has much more pressing matters to deal with like fixing Healthcare.gov and quickly approaching budget negotiations, it’s no surprise that this issue has apparently been pushed to the backburner in the White House. The Hill expands, “Harkin said Wednesday he is not certain whether all 55 members of the Democratic caucus would back his proposal, which would also raise the minimum rate in jobs that rely on tips to 70 percent of the standard minimum wage. “There are different views on proceeding to it, as an amendment, as a direct bill, how do you do it,” he said. “That’s what we've got to figure out." Harkin said one of the goals of the meeting is to find out how many fellow Democrats will back the bill. “There are some who may want to add something to it, put something else on it, which other people would not want,” he said. “I think people deserve a clean-cut bill. Raise the minimum wage.” Obama proposed in his State of the Union address raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour and indexing it to the rate of inflation. Groups advocating for a higher wage floor have pressed the president to endorse Harkin’s proposal. “We and many others have been in constant dialogue with him since the State of the Union. Advocates pushing for the minimum wage increase are all behind Harkin-Miller. We’ve asked him to endorse that bill at the right moment,” said Judy Conti, the federal advocacy coordinator of the National Employment Law Project…”
Source - Exabyzness & The Hill