Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 7, 2015

For Senate Democrats, No Credit for Wage Proposal From Obama

In September, 15 Senate Democrats put pen to paper to urge President Barack Obama to issue an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10. On Tuesday, they’ll get exactly what they wanted from Obama — except for any recognition of their efforts.

Of the 15 lawmakers on the letter, championed by Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., four senators are up for re-election in 2014: Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii.

Sanders, right, spearheaded the letter to Obama. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders, right, spearheaded the letter to Obama. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

And though Democrats in the White House and in Congress have been touting a stronger relationship than ever heading into Tuesday night’s State of the Union, there was some residual frustration that the White House apparently didn’t consider mentioning the letter or the senators in its announcement of the policy change. Democratic aides approached for this story did not want to be quoted on the record about senators’ displeasure, largely out of worry they would upset administration officials.

“Since when does the White House give credit to other Democrats?” one Senate aide quipped.

When asked by Roll Call whether he was frustrated that the White House didn’t mention the group of Democratic senators and their push for higher wages, Sanders smiled a wide grin, then paused.

“I am delighted that the president came forward with his very, very important initiative. It’s going to help hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers,” Sanders said, wryly.

You can read the original letter from the Senate Democrats here.

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  1. Benjamin Dover

    Feb. 2, 2014
    2:03 a.m.

    It’s also important to remember that Obama was lying when he promised to close Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office.


    April 20, 2014
    5:53 p.m.

    When will the senate finally pass the much needed unemployment extension bill in the senate, for the more than two million families that were affected by the loss of benefits late last December? For more than four months now, the Republican senate has dragged their feet, and has made delay after delay to postpone passing the bill, in the hopes of making it just go away. In the mean time, these millions of families have been ruined financially, having been evicted from their homes, having their homes foreclosed upon, having to file personal bankruptcy, and being made homeless. These workers had worked many years in their jobs, and have paid into the system, believing help would be there for them if ever they needed it. However, they’ve been made to feel like social leaches, and social parasites, for asking for what they’ve already paid into from their weekly pay. While the congress quickly passed a foreign aid package for the Ukraine, worth billions of tax payer’s dollars, nothing has been passed to help these struggling families on a total verge of economical collapse, facing homelessness for lack of income to pay their living expenses. These millions of families have been used my the political parties as “political leverage”, and as “bargaining chips” to further one another’s political agendas. These people are not lazy or unwilling to work. The majority are older Americans with families to support, and mortgages to pay. These people have worked all of their lives and just happen to find themselves in one of the worst recessions in many years. How can the Republican party claim to represent “family values”, while making every effort to kill the extension bill that would help these families in the senate? I hope that the American people will have our own ” American Spring” like in other countries, and take back our country from these self-promoting, self-righteous, ego=filled, career politicians. We need to bring back the ” public servant” back into fashion once again. These politicians in Washington have totally become out of touch with common people which makes up 99 percent of this country. Shame on the Republicans for causing so much grief and pain to these millions of families without unemployment benefits. The American voters will not forget that in the 2016 elections,

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