Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 28, 2015

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.

Harkin was conceding one obviously reality; there’s no expectation of the Senate conducting legislative business on Friday. At least on the votes to limit debate, Harkin expects to having the backing from his side of the aisle, leaving open the question of whether enough GOP senators will back bringing it up.

“I think we’re pretty close to having all of the Democrats on board, save maybe one,” Harkin said “And I’m hopeful we can get all of them, at least on a cloture petition on at least moving the bill. They might not be with us exactly … on the final vote, but I think we’d have enough.

“The key is to get over the filibuster by the Republicans,” Harkin said. “I’m pretty confident we’ll have all the Democrats for that.”

Representatives from the National Employment Law Project are among those making a bid to find the votes for the minimum wage increase, having reached out to nine GOP Senate offices in an effort to get to the all-important 60 vote supermajority.

“If we don’t have 60 votes on the first vote, we’ll continue to come back again and again,” Harkin said, while dismissing the suggestion the effort was primarily about driving the Democratic base in November.

Harkin again seemed to have no interest in negotiating down the top-line minimum wage hike from $10.10 per hour, and he said the current tip wage “truly is unconscionable” at $2.13 an hour.

“If there are other things to be negotiated, fine,” Harkin said.

  • aaaa aa

    odd…finally they are trying to finish something first before going onto another issue,makes if just they could keep up the pace

  • Harquebus1532

    Don’t vote for the republicans-humans are more important than corporations

  • James Morillo

    This week is our best hope folks. Let’s do something about this. This bill is affecting over 2 million people, not including their friends and family. That number includes over 400,000 American veterans. The CBO says passing this bill will increase GDP by .2% and create 200,000 American jobs. The bill is fully funded and has ALWAYS passed the house once it passes the Senate. Not passing such a bill would be UNPRECENTED in the history of this country. The Senate and House go for another relaxing “extended” recess next week. They think they are going to walk out of Washington on Friday with their bags packed for a relaxing golf outing or a trip to the beach for 2 weeks. They think that the cries of 2 million suffering and hardworking Americans will not affect their golf swings. The average salary of a congress representative is $200,000, and in 2013, they only worked 126 days! Nice part time job! Who is hardworking? They think pulling the plug on the hopes of 2 million struggling Americans will have no impact on the overall voting. This is the week everybody. Spread this message! Call your Republican Congress person. Post this or your story to their Facebook or Twitter account. GET IT OUT THERE!! WE ARE AMERICANS! OUR VOTES COUNT!! WE WILL NOT LET THIS NONSENSE CONTINUE!

    • Jmr

      Well put. Strange to figure out a political strategy of Republicans messing with such a motivated voting block here. 2.5 million affected with perhaps double voting family members. Even if 80% vote … that’s 4m truly angry voters. Logically, makes sence to end this issue and focus on Obamacare. I’m a lifelong Republican but this issue has made me reconsider who deserves to be in power.

  • bujzz

    to have unemployment benefits extended make sure to sign the petition to the White House. See link below to do so.

  • NeedsVacation


    Contact John Boehner’s office until the phones are unplugged:
    John Boehner says the implementation will be “difficult”? Is that really the attitude you want to have towards long-term unemployed seeking jobs? Its “difficult so give up, huh?


    Washington, D.C. Office
    1011 Longworth H.O.B.
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-0600

    *Number has been changed 3 times :)


    • Diana Taylor

      Too busy, Too busy, Too busy, It’s just too hard to help Unemployed Americans!!!!!! I mean really, this guy barely has the time to deal with
      his own issues let alone America’s.

      Lindsay Boehner, the anti-pot House Speaker’s eldest daughter was married to Jamaica-born construction worker Dominic Lakhan. The groom was once arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of marijuana

  • teapartyidiots

    I assume Manchin will jump ship, per usual, and possibly Pryor.

  • Gary E

    If YOU have not done it yet, you need to go to your representatives web page at the house and tell them you need their vote on unemployment, especially the GOP ones. TELL THEM what YOU NEED!!!

  • Realist555

    Tea Party and Republican filibusters must stop. If this bill does not go through, the blame will be put on the filibusterers. Democrats have tried to push this through several times, the President wants it done. There is no reason not to extend unemployment now, if the current bill is not offsetting the cost enough, then work to fix it and PASS it. That’s what these legislators are voted in to work out- they are supposed to help the citizens of America, not hold them down. There is no reason to hem and haw around this issue any longer. Stop being lazy TP and Repubs, GET to WORK and do what you’re supposed to, stop avoiding your responsibilities.

  • Icare

    Remember to vote them back in for their great service to The People. OH… that’s right… 99% of the people will do this anyway no matter how much these greedy self serving officials screw you over. All you can say come November is::: DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN!

    • peacefornow

      Well said Icare,we the people are stupid,every election we vote for these republicans,people that are on government assistance vote them in,people making minimum wage do to! So the only logical explanation is that we are STUPID!While the rich laugh at us being stupid!

      • Icare

        Yes and it is time for all of us stupids to wake up and remember to make a change this November!

        And the last picture is how I feel about the so called people running OUR ‘THE PEOPLE’S’ GOVERNMENT!!

  • James Morillo
    Contact AT LEAST 5 republican congress people and speak you mind. If they can’t hear you, they won’t listen!!!

  • DJMiles

    So it takes over 3 weeks from the time that 5 Republicans sponsored this 5 month unemployment extension to vote on it but their going to get raising the min wage thru the Senate in just 3 days? Almost sounds like the Democrats are in a rush to force Republicans to have to block the bill so they could use it for political gain like they have been doing with unemployment .

  • David

    This really affected my family. When the benefits ran out we had to borrow from our family to stay afloat. This going through would help us repay them, the student loans and all of our other bills.

  • jimv8673

    Once a Republican, always a Republican. Their entire life is devoted to trying to doing whatever is needed to keep the struggling citizens of the USA right where they are. They pay no attention to the person thats running for office, no matter how vile, or stupid. This unemployment extension has become a joke, and reflects just how bad this country has become. I for one have no respect for this country or anyone with President, Senator, or Congressman behind their name.

  • Gary E

    If YOU have not done it yet, you need to go to your representatives web page at the house and tell them you need their vote on unemployment, especially the GOP ones. TELL THEM what YOU NEED!!!
    NO MORE EXCUSES BOEHNER! This was your bill to begin with! ALL PAID FOR!! You need to call your congressmen!!! email, find them, contact them.

  • Ralph

    These so call republican Senators don’t give a crap about the american people it’s time to vote them out of office begining John Bccccccch may be it time to remove all these parties and install new ones with time limites

  • Laura Stern Hisam

    Pls take a few moments to sign this petition. The deadline is tomorrow, April 2nd:

  • NeedsVacation


    Contact John Boehner’s office until the phones are unplugged:
    John Boehner says the implementation will be “difficult”? Is that really the attitude you want to have towards long-term unemployed seeking jobs? Its “difficult so give up, huh?

    Washington, D.C. Office
    1011 Longworth H.O.B.
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-0600


  • Pamela Lyon

    Just a few thoughts.
    The government collects more taxes when those unemployed have to use their retirement savings to support their families as a result of not being able to find a job. Note, not be able to find a job, any job minimum wage or within your former field or anything in between, So, if you are fortunate enough to have any 401k left that you are now having to live off of the US government will be taking 10% penalty on it. It’s the trickle UP effect. Oh and when you are 67 and eligible for social security, you won’t get that.
    Now, without jobs who will be funding social security? The workers of China, Indonesia, Mexico? No.
    So those of us that are over a “certain age” will have nothing. It isn’t due to “lack of updating skills” or “training”. So Boehner wants job training? What sort of training? Perhaps to become a lawyer so we can sue everyone around us?

  • Icare

    Question What Makes John Boehner Cry So Much?

    John Boehner cries to get the symphony of as many republicans to do things his way. This man… I mean child should never have been elected to office as all he can do is cry if he can’t get his own way.

    15 times John Boehner cried.

    Is John Boehner hitting the bottle? Tells Reid to go Fu** Himself!

  • Fido Shery

    Hussein Obama’s threats of Federal debt default have hurt Americans. And he doesn’t seem to care.

  • Kat Saved

    Here we find our resident Bolshevik agitator, Hussein Obama, spinning another chimerical tale:

    • erick

      To reduce the national debt pass HR 1579 the “Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013″ This is also called the robin hood tax. The bill will impose a finance transfer tax (FTT) on stock market financial transactions. This will help to reduce the financial deficit and take some of the tax burden off of small business.

  • Icare

    Miss R•EVOLutionaries
    53,965 likes · 42,041 talking about this

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