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Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell (R) and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington June 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

As congressional Republicans stand in the way of a higher minimum wage, the New York Times highlights a pattern from the last three minimum wage increases:

But the story of recent increases underscores the indispensable ingredient [Obama] so far lacks: a Republican leader strongly motivated to make a deal over the party’s philosophical objections. [...]

The common thread of the last three wage increases is a president of one party forging agreement with a Congress controlled by the other. “Our system works best” for bipartisan compromise with that alignment, Mr. Fratto said.

That was true in 1989, when President George H.W. Bush cut a deal with a Congress controlled by Democrats; in 1996, when congressional Republicans came out of a government shutdown as the losers, needing to do something to regain momentum; and in 2007, when President George W. Bush suddenly found himself facing a Democratic Congress and terrible approval ratings. In those cases, the Republicans decided it was in their best interests to cut a deal and get something done.

So, this story implies, maybe if Republicans keep the House and take the Senate this November, they'll decide it's in their political interest to raise the minimum wage. The problem is, you don't need to be romanticizing the Republicans of 20 or 30 years ago to believe that the extremists of today are likely to be a different story.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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