GOP Senators Vote Against Working Americans And Block Minimum Wage Increase
A minority of 41 Senators, all Republicans (and YES, that includes Sen. Dean Heller), voted today to block debate and a vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Once again, the GOP followed the orders of the Koch brothers to keep our economy working for only the wealthiest.
What’s more, instead of voting to give 28 million people as much as a $4,000 raise each, these GOP Senators instead took checks from leading lobbyists from big corporations opposed to raising it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, has taken $118,000 since 2008:
Let’s go over just a few of the groups that these 41 Senate Republicans — whose average net worth is $6.26 million — were voting against in deciding to not even allow debate on the minimum wage bill:
- 28 million workers overall, whose wages would go up by a combine $35 billion dollars;
- 15 million women, who make up almost two-thirds of all minimum wage workers;
- One million veterans, which amounts to one in ten of all veterans currently working;
- 21 million children, who would have had at least one parent whose pay will go up;
- 3.5 million people of color, who make up a disproportionate number of minimum wage workers and whose wages are estimated to increase by $16.1 billion with a $10.10 minimum wage.
Whether or not this issue personally affects you, chances are you know someone for whom this would make a difference. The average worker who would benefit is 35 years old, and more than half are women. It’s a single mother trying to make sure her kids have enough to eat. It’s a college student working to pay her way through school. And they deserve a raise.
Despite today’s vote, this issue will not go away, no matter how hard Republicans wish it would. The 42nd ‘no’ vote came from Majority Leader Harry Reid, a procedural move in order to preserve the option of bringing the bill up again. And just before the vote took place, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a clear indication on the Senate floor that this fight is long from over: “If we don’t succeed this time … we will bring this bill to the floor again and again and again. Sooner or later we will get it done.” (Editor’s remark: Frankly … if the House can vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act 53 time, it’s perfectly acceptable with me for the Senate to have to vote, and re-vote on this at least once a week until they incur some serious wrath from the constituents and finally cast a YES vote.)
BOTTOM LINE: Instead of raising the minimum wage and giving Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead, Senate Republicans have shown once again that they’re against the 99%. But this fight is far from over. Those who vote against everyday Americans — many of whom have voted for similar minimum wage increases in the past — are on the wrong side of history.
This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.