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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media about an immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced he will delay a vote on raising the minimum wage to $10.10. While Reid pointed a finger at Republican obstruction, it's also clear that too many Democratic senators are being weak and/or conservative on this issue:

Of the 55 senators who caucus with the Democrats, only 32 have signed on as official co-sponsors of Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) bill. [...]

Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), the chamber’s most vulnerable incumbent, has said he does not support the legislation. He does, however, back a pending plan in his home state to increase the minimum wage to $8.50.

Other Democrats up for reelection who have not co-sponsored the Harkin measure include Sens. Mark Warner (Va.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.).

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is not up for reelection, has said he prefers raising the minimum wage to a level lower than $10.10.

Because not standing up for working people has worked so well for Democrats in the past. Raising the minimum wage is incredibly popular. Even in Arkansas, which voted 60 percent for Mitt Romney in 2012, 52 percent of voters want to see the minimum wage raised to $10, compared to just 38 percent who are opposed. Not only that, 47 percent say they'd be more likely to support a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage. This should not be seen as some kind of out-on-a-limb kind of thing for Democrats. What we're seeing here from people like Pryor and Carper is the kind of weakness that often leads directly to Democratic losses on both politics and policy. Reid is standing firm on $10.10, but Democratic holdouts and all the Republicans need to hear that it's time for the minimum wage to be raised above a poverty wage and that voters are paying attention.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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