Senate Republicans Shoot Down Minimum Wage Hike

Vote fails to clear filibuster, 54-42, with all but one Republican dissenting

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 30, 2014 12:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Senate Republicans today blocked a Democratic bill that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. The legislation by Sen. Tom Harkin would have gradually raised the $7.25 hourly minimum to $10.10 over 30 months and then would have provided automatic annual increases to account for inflation. The vote was 54-42 in favor of allowing debate on the measure to proceed, six votes short of the 60 Democrats needed to prevail.

Bob Corker was the only Republican to cross party lines and vote "yes." Harry Reid switched his vote to "no," a procedural move that gives him the right to call another vote on the measure. No other Democrats opposed the bill. Susan Collins has said she and some other Republicans would be willing to reach a compromise on a lower figure, but so far, Democrats have shown no inclination to compromise. In a clear sign of the political value Democrats believe the issue has, Harkin and others have said they intend to force another vote on the increase closer to this year's elections.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., surrounded by GOP lawmakers, talks to reporters after a GOP caucus meeting, April 29, 2014, on Capitol Hill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., surrounded by GOP lawmakers, talks to reporters after a GOP caucus meeting, April 29, 2014, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, as Congress returns from a two week recess.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, as Congress returns from a two week recess.   (Uncredited)
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