Proud to report that -- finally! -- yesterday Senate Democrats hung together in their attempt to raise the minimum wage. The vote came on a cloture motion to cut off debate on reauthorization of Welfare Reform. The Republicans wanted to end debate; the Democrats were fighting to attach a new minimum wage provision to the bill, proposing to raise the rate from $5.15 an hour (where it's been stuck since 1997) to $7.00 an hour over two years. "A person who works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year would then make $14,560, rather than the current $10,712. Under federal guidelines, a family of three is considered poor if its annual income is less than $15,670."
The vote on cloture was 51 for (all Republicans) to 47 against (all Democrats). It takes 60 votes to end debate. The Democrats hung together for a change! And it was a good principle to hang together FOR.
As Senator Barbara Boxer said, the higher minimum wage was a logical corollary of the welfare bill. "We want to get people off welfare," Mrs. Boxer said. "That's the point of the underlying bill. Let's get them into work that pays. I hear all about compassionate conservatism. Fine. Show it to me. Where is it?" (Quotes from the New York Times story this morning.)
Friday, April 02, 2004
Democrats Finally Act Like Democrats
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 4/02/2004 10:41:00 AM
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