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February 12, 2016

Posts in "minimum wage"

December 18, 2015

Senate Leaders Look Ahead to 2016

McConnell, left, and Reid, right, claimed victory in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell, left, and Reid, right, claimed victory in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate leaders spent Friday afternoon claiming victory on the spending and tax bills that passed before lawmakers left town, and said they are now looking to highlight differences between the two parties heading into the election year.

Democrats and Republicans held back-to-back news conferences after the final votes of the year, each saying the Senate is functioning again, and they’re the reason why.

Full story

May 5, 2014

Democrats Plan Push to Refinance Student Loans (Updated)

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:15 a.m. | Senate Democrats are preparing a new push to refinance student loans and cut the costs of college as the latest plank in their election-year agenda — and are talking compromise on a minimum wage hike.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday morning on MSNBC that a new bill will be introduced by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts regarding student loan refinancing.

Language similar to Warren’s will be part of a broader college affordability measure that’s the next piece of the “fair shot” agenda, a senior Democratic aide said. The broader campaign includes proposals that Senate Democrats are highlighting this year ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

“We’re pushing this middle class agenda. I think it’ll overcome Obamacare as the biggest issue. Minimum wage, equal pay, college,” Schumer said.

Full story

April 29, 2014

GOP Plans to Filibuster Minimum Wage, Push Keystone (Video)

Cornyn (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cornyn (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republican leaders plan to filibuster President Barack Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour when it comes up for an initial test vote Wednesday, and are pushing for a vote soon on the Keystone XL pipeline instead.

“Cloture will not be invoked,” said Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“Minimum wage is an important issue for the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “All that we are asking is that we are allowed to get on the bill.”

The bill is part of an agenda Democrats unveiled before the recess that is focused on helping the middle class.

But Republicans charge Democrats with using the minimum wage issue for political gain.

Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said the minimum wage bill isn’t intended to find a consensus.

“For the Democrats it’s a political exercise, so I think they figure they will get something out of it,” Thune said. “But I think we are pretty unified against this just because it’s a bad policy that hurts jobs and the economy. We don’t think that this is something we ought to be talking about now.” Full story

April 28, 2014

Reid: Koch Brothers Aren’t Interested In Unemployment Extension, Minimum Wage

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched a new assault on the Koch brothers, blaming them for House Republicans’ not passing an extension of unemployment benefits, a minimum wage hike or other parts of the Democratic agenda.

“Their billionaire sugar-daddies aren’t interested in helping middle class Americans get a fair shot. Charles and David Koch aren’t concerned with the long-term unemployed families, and so the Republicans that they sponsor in the House of Representatives are content to do nothing for the long-term unemployed,” Reid said, renewing his barrage against the wealthy businessmen and donors to a variety of conservative causes. Full story

April 2, 2014

Minimum Wage Compromise Faces Long Odds

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Susan Collins is fighting an uphill battle to get Democrats and Republicans to back a minimum wage compromise.

Democratic leaders so far are sticking to the $10.10-an-hour wage they’re proposing, while many Republicans, including more moderate lawmakers, say they are likely to filibuster the bill.

But the moderate Maine Republican says she’s leading a bipartisan group of senators hoping to strike a deal.

“We’re continuing to talk about the potential elements of a new compromise that would have a more reasonable, affordable increase in the minimum wage that would still help a lot of low-income families and yet not cause the tremendous job losses that the [Congressional Budget Office] says would occur if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour,” Collins said. Full story

April 1, 2014

Unemployment Extension Set to Pass, But GOP Digging in on Minimum Wage, Pay Equity

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans say they might block consideration of minimum wage and pay equity bills after Senate Democrats moved to block GOP amendments to the unemployment extension bill expected to pass later this week.

Republicans are upset at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for clamping down on amendments on the unemployment benefits extension. And they’re concerned Democrats are going to do the same on the minimum wage and pay equity bills to come.

As a result, some GOP leaders said they could vote to block those bills from coming up for debate.

“I think a lot of it is going to depend on whether or not they allow us to vote on things that we are for,” said Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, R-S.D. Full story

March 31, 2014

Minimum Wage Debate Awaits Unemployment Extension Vote

The Senate debate on raising the federal minimum wage might slip until next week, in part because it’s unclear how long it will take the chamber to finish work on an unemployment insurance extension.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin has championed raising the minimum wage up to $10.10 an hour, along with an increase in tip wages. The Iowa Democrat told reporters on a conference call Monday that floor timing wasn’t clear.

“Hopefully we’ll be on the floor this week with it. Now, whether or not we can get a vote yet this week by the close of business on Thursday or not, I just don’t know yet,” Harkin said. Full story

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