House May Allow Vote on Minimum Wage
Nothing like an election year to get things moving:
House GOP leaders say vote on minimum wage now likely, by Rick Klein, Boston Globe: With Democrats plotting to make the minimum wage a major issue in this fall's congressional races, House Republican leaders are conceding that they may have to yield to pressure for an increase to the federal standard, which has been frozen for nearly a decade.
Faced with elections that could cost them control of Congress, John A. Boehner, the House majority leader, acknowledged Thursday that Republican leaders are likely to reverse course and hold a vote on a proposed minimum wage increase. Though Boehner said it was a "cynical ploy" for Democrats to make it a campaign centerpiece, polls indicate that voters clearly favor an increase in the wage, and Boehner acknowledged that GOP leaders are "probably going to have to find some way to deal with it."
A week earlier, Boehner, an Ohio Republican, all but ruled out allowing a vote on the matter, saying an increase is "very bad economic policy." ... But a group of GOP moderates told Boehner last week that they believe the House should take up the issue before the midterm elections, to blunt its potential impact at the polls...
Already, Democratic candidates in a range of House races have hammered their Republican opponents over the stalled minimum wage proposal. The issue has been emphasized in economically struggling parts of the country, including working-class districts in Ohio, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and parts of New England. "It's a metaphor for the upside-down priorities in Washington, and working Vermonters get that," said Peter Welch, the Democratic candidate for Vermont's lone House seat....
Boehner said no decisions have been made as to how the GOP will handle the issue. Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said he sees no need to rush through a minimum-wage increase just to answer the Democrats.
The Democrats are accused of a "cynical ploy" by Republicans? That's funny.
Posted by Mark Thoma on Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at 11:11 AM in Economics, Policy, Politics, Regulation |
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