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People rally in support of a $15 minimum wage at Seattle Central Community College in Washington March 15, 2014. Voters in SeaTac, Washington recently passed a ballot initiative for $15 minimum wage.  REUTERS/Jason Redmond
The filibuster is effectively dead. There's no reason Democrats couldn't kill it for legislation the way they killed it for judicial and executive nominations. But in this case, it's actually working in the Democrat's favor. How? Consider the current status of the minimum wage debate:
  • There won't be a minimum wage increase until Democrats retake the House.
  • A minimum wage increase is incredibly popular, garnering strong support even among Republicans.
  • Every time Republicans vote against increasing the minimum wage, Democrats have a new cudgel to use against them heading into November. It's free ammo!

So perversely, losing yesterday's minimum wage Senate vote was a good thing. This way, Senate Democrats can keep beating the shit out of Republicans over the issue, and they certainly plan on it.

“If we don’t succeed this time … we will bring this bill to the floor again and again and again,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said before the vote. “And just like unemployment insurance, sooner or later we will get it done.”
Remember, Senate Republicans could allow an up or down vote, vote against it, let Democrats pass it on a simple majority vote, then let the House do the dirty work of killing it. Instead, they feel compelled to use the filibuster to block even debate. Weird. And a godsend to Democrats.

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