GOP Senators Vote Against Working Americans And Block Minimum Wage Increase
A minority of 41 Senators, all Republicans, voted today to block 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.
Earnings for the top 1 percent have gone up 177 percent (PDF) since 1980. Meanwhile, minimum wage workers are actually making 16 percent less. But Republican Senators are still refusing to give them a raise:
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.
But despite today’s vote, this issue isn’t going 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.”
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.