Legislation that would have gradually raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour failed to earn enough votes to clear a procedural hurdle on April 30, but Senate Democrats vowed to keep the issue front and center in the run-up to November’s midterm elections.
Democrats needed 60 votes to open debate on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223), but could muster only 55.
“This is not the only time that you will see the Senate vote on the minimum wage bill this year. We’ll be back again and again, and we’ll keep trying until we get this to the president’s desk,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D–Iowa, sponsor of the bill.
Republicans believe raising the minimum wage will cause more un-employment and say Democrats are only using the issue to gain a political advantage in November.
Even if a minimum wage bill passes the Senate, it will certainly die in the House of Representatives. A House petition calling for an up-or-down floor vote has earned 195 Democratic signatures, but needs 23 Republicans to sign on. So far, none have.