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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives to speak to the media about healthcare on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

The Senate is scheduled to vote today on increasing the minimum wage. And you don't need to have mystical powers to confidently predict that the bill will not pass. It's math. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has support from small business owners and a strong majority of voters. It has majority support in the Senate, too—but what it doesn't have is enough votes to break a Republican filibuster.

The bill's passage would require six Republican votes. Democrat Mark Pryor won't be voting because he's in his home state of Arkansas after tornadoes swept through the state, but in any case, he's attempting to split the baby by supporting a small state minimum wage increase by ballot initiative while opposing a federal minimum wage increase. Senate Republicans are more solid on where they stand—squarely against American workers, while trying to pretend otherwise:

Citing those job loss figures, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday, "When it comes to so many of their proposals, Washington Democrats appear to prioritize the desires of the far left over the needs of the middle class."
"Those job loss figures" are the CBO report that predicted raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would increase income to families below the poverty threshold by $5 billion, lift 900,000 people out of poverty, and increase income to millions of middle-class families. The CBO also used intentionally conservative assumptions to predict, against economic consensus and against numerous studies of states and cities that have actually raised their minimum wages, that it would cost around 500,000 jobs. That's what McConnell is referring to, while discounting both the contradictory consensus of economists and the billions in added income and reduction of poverty the CBO itself predicted. In other words, to McConnell, lifting people out of poverty is a "desire of the far left." Billions in added net income going to middle-class families does not count as a "need of the middle class," to McConnell.

But the CBO report might yield another clue to why McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans are so opposed to raising the minimum wage: The one group predicted to lose income if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10 is the top group the CBO examined. Those making six or more times the poverty threshold stand to see their income go down by, on average, 0.4 percent. And if there's one thing we know about today's Republicans, it's that 0.4 percent of the income of rich people matters a lot more to them than making sure that work pays enough to lift families out of poverty.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mitch is in his 'What Murka Wants' mode. (7+ / 0-)

    Dems say they're going to bring it up again and again.

  •  A million poor here, a million poor there. (18+ / 0-)

    Pretty soon you're talking real people.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:09:01 AM PDT

    •  CBO Director testimony, U.S. Senate, March 2014 (7+ / 0-)
      A “$10.10 option” would increase the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour in three steps—in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

      Many more low-wage workers would see an increase in their earnings. Of those workers who will earn up to $10.10 under current law, most—about 16.5 million, according to CBO’s estimates—would have higher earnings during an average week in the second half of 2016 if the $10.10 option was implemented.

      Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks GOP, for writing the Dem's (9+ / 0-)

    campaign commercials for them.

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:18:47 AM PDT

    •  Right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      GOP already lost Obamacare as an issue, now they are handing Dems the minimum wage issue giftwrapped on a platter.

      the only question is how Dems will screw it up this time :P

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:59:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mitch, as usual, is so confused (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, jfromga, JeffW, Aquarius40, MarkW53

    He said:"When it comes to so many of their proposals, Washington Democrats appear to prioritize the desires of the far left over the needs of the middle class"

    The truth is: When it comes to so many of their proposals, Washington Democrats do prioritize the needs of the middle class over the desires of the far right.

  •  Why is this bill being filibustered? (8+ / 0-)

    Will anyone discuss this abuse of the filibuster on the bobblehead shows?

    Chuck Todd?

    David Gregory?

    Wolf Blitzer?



  •  Idiots - that $10.10 will go right back into the (11+ / 0-)

    economy.  It's STIMULUS.  Those CEO's are cutting off their noses to spite their respective (ugly) faces.

    Same with unemployment insurance.  Where do you think it gets spent?  Goes right back into the economy.  Not hoarded (offshore, even) like CEO pay.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:29:10 AM PDT

  •  The rich have to get richer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Aquarius40

    its a primary function of the Republican Party.  As opposed to humans who need food and shelter.

  •  another day; another unconstitutional filibuster (0+ / 0-)
  •  And of course when it's over. . . (4+ / 0-)

    All of the headlines will be about how "The Senate" failed to pass this bill -- not about the obstructionist Republican assholes who once again prove that they wouldn't walk across the street to piss on a middle-class worker if that worker was on fire.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:44:03 AM PDT

  •  Is McConnell suicidal? (3+ / 0-)

    The stupidity of this is astounding.  There is no win here for Republicans.  They already have the votes of the super rich, what they don't need to do is play into the "Republicans aren't the party of regular working Americans" meme that is growing in this cycle.  Why do this?  The House will kill any increase in a livable wage, why do this in the Senate?  

    Livable wage polls well in his own Senate race, Grimes beats him here on this issue.  She is calculating that it animates Democratic voters enough to come out mid-term.  Without a Big "McConnell Filibustered Your Living Wage" ad with his big doofy face as the cover boy for this, he had a chance at slipping under the radar on this.  

    He's not only wrong on policy, he's a political idiot.  There is no vote-getting upside on this issue for him here.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:48:15 AM PDT

    •  a tiny percent of workers make minimum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      wage.. and relatively few of them are full-time workers.

      It is simply not a major issue for most voters.  I think you overestimate its importance.  Minimum wage means nothing if you don't have a job.

      As I posted yesterday in another diary:

      While polling on raising minimum wage nearly always gets 75% or higher approval, it is never listed as one of the important issues to Americans or as a fix for the economy.

      Jobs and the bad economy are consistently the top concern of American voters.

      Unemployment Rises to Top Problem in the U.S

      State of the Union: The Public Weighs In on 10 Key Issues

      Relatively few Americans mention the minimum wage as the best way to fix the U.S. economy, instead focusing on job creation and tax cuts.
      •  JJ, you said: (5+ / 0-)
        a tiny percent of workers make minimum wage.. and relatively few of them are full-time workers.
        This is just plain misleading. I suppose that if you make $7.26, you are "Above minimum wage".

        First, the real question is this: How many are now making substandard wages below $10.10? And how many others would benefit from the boost which would put upward pressure on the wages of those currently in the $10.10 - $13.00 (or so) bracket?

        Second, the fact that it's not a deal breaker for most people is irrelevant and prejudicial. The question is: Is it good policy? There are lots of economic issues that aren't deal breakers, for example firefighter pay. Does that mean it's good policy to cut them to minimum wage?

        I am growing tired of excuses for acting inhumanely. Cut SNAP. Cut unemployment insurance. Filibuster every jobs bill. Filibuster minimum wage. The list seems endless.

        Too soon old, too late smart (-7.25, -6.21)

        by Tim DeLaney on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  250,000 women may be a "tiny percent" of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TKO333, kfunk937

        working Kentuckians, but that could sway a close election.  

        The National Women’s Law Center released a new state-by-state study today on women and the minimum wage, and it calculates that over 250,000 women would get a raise in Kentucky if the minimum wage is raised.
        Washington Post

        You noted that "relatively few full-time workers" are minimum wage workers, as if there is no connection between low wage work and the number of hours offered such employees as normal business strategy to contain labor costs (and benefits).  I've run a few small businesses and understand the correlation.  It's not an accident.

        But I agree that this may be a slice issue, but in a close election, that slice may make the difference one way or another, and I don't understand the overwhelming upside to McConnell being front and center on this.  It's not worth the public exposure, in my view, to accidentally motivate the slice voter on the other side. I'm for Grimes here, but I don't understand why McConnell took the risk.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:31:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think conservatives would argue pursuing (0+ / 0-)

          a minimum wage hike so fervently but ignoring the much bigger problem of the jobless would work against Dems rather than in their favor.

          But you would have to ask McConnell if that is his reasoning.

          There is also the possibility that running against a minimum wage hike is also anti-union, since millions of union workers making much more than 10.10 stand to get sizable wage boost since many of their contracts are based on a minimum wage multiplier.

          •  You make a statement that is made by the WSJ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TKO333, kfunk937

            but even they add the qualifier:

            The Center for Union Facts analyzed collective-bargaining agreements obtained from the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards. The data indicate that a number of unions in the service, retail and hospitality industries peg their base-line wages to the minimum wage.

            The Labor Department's collective-bargaining agreements file has a limited number of contracts available, so we were unable to determine how widespread the practice is.

            Wall Street Journal Feb 2013

            Their data is based on The Center for Union Facts, which is run by the author of the article, Richard Berman, and the group "exchanges union information with Walmart" even as Walmart denies that they also fund this anti-union group.

            The reason I checked is because it has not been my experience as a labor contract negotiator representing management that there is what you cite as fact:

            ...many of their contracts are based on a minimum wage multiplier.
            So the Dept of Labor doesn't keep this kind of data to support the claim, their file of contracts is limited.  I know I never sent one of my many contracts to the DOL for their file.

            Again, apart from using this weird claim, this seems like a stupid choice for McConnell to get himself stuck into this tar baby so publicly.  It doesn't seem worth the potential cost to him.  But his whole campaign apparatus seems stuck in 2nd gear and driving backwards.  Odd for a man who has managed to dance so gracefully in Kentucky politics as a down-home friend outside the Washington stink.  Do you know if he's lost a major campaign advisor?  Or has he just been extraordinarily lucky?  If he's knocked off, Rand Paul will be more than happy to be the Senior Senator (R-Toupee) from Kentucky.  

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:25:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I think I got that bit of info (0+ / 0-)

              from the same WSJ article a while back.  I had no idea it was not factual.

              I believe I have heard some conservative pundits use that argument, but I have no idea if McConnell has.

              I think the first argument is probably the stronger one anyway, and is one I would lean towards myself.

              Fix the economy - i.e. get companies hiring - and the minimum wage is a moot point.  In the job booming 90's they made several dollars more than minimum wage even at McDonald's.

              •  The issue of joblessness is an onion (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in my view, that is, the majority of American households (and Kentucky households) have more than one wage earner, and the loss of a job has impact in at least two ways - the loss of a critical source of primary income and increased dependency on the secondary wage earners.  Or loss of secondary wages, puts more pressure on primary income.  

                Either way, there is an interconnected dependency on both incomes to sustain an out-of-poverty quality of life.  

                Only 7% of American households are of a married couple with only wage earner, by design - the Ozzie and Harriet model is a myth for most Americans.  So when one looks at Kentucky's jobless rate of 7.9% as of March 2014 (according to the BLS) and at the fact that Kentucky rates near the bottom for median adjusted household income (47 of 50), you cannot ignore the immediate positive economic impact of increasing the minimum wage on all Kentucky families (including part time workers and workers under 30 who still live at home), including and especially those in which one member has lost an income.   It still doesn't solve a job loss, but it adds immediate income jump to a family that is already struggling.  

                This connection seems to be lost on folks like McConnell.  This is no longer a one-size-fits-all economy, it's a heavily interconnected one where things like minimum wage increase and non-employer healthcare make an immediate and positive impact to the quality of life to a struggling family - it's true it's not dry land but it's a life buoy, and sometimes that's all that stands between drowning and the hope of economic life.  He's wrong to fight this issue without understanding this, and he oddly doesn't understand the complexity of this issue as part of an evolving modern economy for which 250,000 women are directly  impacted and countless Kentucky male voters, as well.

                McConnell's bread and butter seems to be as Mr Kentucky nice guy.  A man who cares about the little folks.  He's Huckabee's Uncle Sugar to Kentucky's people.  Why he now wants to go around giving free fodder to Grimes to portray his as Uncle Scrooge is beyond me.  The minimum wage fight should not politically be his fight.  Anti-ACA works in Kentucky through this cycle, I think, but not after when Kentucky voters move with the national tide and support by 2016.  If I were McConnell, I would drop public opposition to minimum wage and attack on ACA while it still works, and hope for a low turnout.  He can't provoke Grimes leaning voters to come out to punish him for dismissing them.

                "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                by Uncle Moji on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:17:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Where do you keep getting this 250,000 number? (0+ / 0-)
                  he oddly doesn't understand the complexity of this issue as part of an evolving modern economy for which 250,000 women are directly  impacted and countless Kentucky male voters, as well.
                  The BLS reports 49.000 Kentucky workers make the fed minimum wage.

                  The number of Kentucky workers making minimum wage peaked during the recession and have been declining steadily since.


                  Even if you were to double or triple that number to include spouses or adult children living at home, it still wouldn't add up to 250,000.. and you are just counting women in that number.  It doesn't add up.

                  After looking at these BLS numbers, I will stick with my point that this affects a very small percentage of workers and will not even be a blip on the radar screen of voters in Kentucky or elsewhere.

                  •  Click on the linkie, that's why included it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    If you raise the minimum wage to $10.10, you include those who made $7.25 an hour which is what you keep referencing (as your "tiny percent"), AND, those who made $7.50, $7.75, $8.00, $8.25, $8.50, $8.75... you get the drift, yes?...all the way up to $10.10.  

                    You are thinking in a very linear way.  You (& McConnell) miss the broad appeal this increase has.  It doesn't simply impact current minimum wage workers, it directly impacts a much much larger group and potentially brings a whole group up to $21,008 per year from $15,800 to $20,987.20.  Wage stagnation has been a fact of this bad economy, and this increase gives an immediate wage increase to thousands and thousands of families.  Who doesn't like a raise?  And if you boss won't give it to you, Alison Grimes will.  This is what McConnell curiously doesn't seem to get in this narrative - he's the crabby old boss who lives in a nice house and has someone drive him around and he has nice for himself and his friends but he won't give you a measly raise.  He should keep a low profile and duck this fight.  

                    The impact can increase wages in family by $5K+ per year.  A significant benefit to a struggling family.  

                    And historical data proves that that kind of raise gets immediately spent back into the economy, helping other retail and local businesses (versus capital gains cuts, etc).  It's a palpable and immediate economic stimulus to small towns and the Kentucky economy as a whole.

                    Got it?

                    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                    by Uncle Moji on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:54:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  the dumber the 99% (0+ / 0-)

    get the poorer they get, someday america will wake up and smell the stench but until that happens the middle class will continue to recede and disappear.

  •  Mitch McConnell doing his (0+ / 0-)

    best impersonations of Cliven Bundy.

  •  Well, bully for them (0+ / 0-)

    whatever gets them through the night.  Seriously, I don't know how they live with themselves.  If they're not going to do anything about helping create good high-paying jobs accessible to more people, the least they can do is ensure an adequate standard of living for people they've helped remain stuck in low-wage McJobs.  Apparently, THAT is too much for them.  

  •  Didn't McConnell just shoot himself in the foot (0+ / 0-)

    repeatedly and often on the ACA? Now he is telling the middle class they don't need the money? He and his party are effectively saying "fuck you" to working Americans. Wonder how that plays during his senate race for his senate seat? Inquiring minds and all that...

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:57:20 AM PDT

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