Senate to Hold Minimum Wage Vote This Week
Congress is back in town following a two-week recess, and the Senate is slated to hold a procedural vote on minimum wage legislation on Wednesday. However, it most likely won’t pass. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would like to raise the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 and has indicated that he would not settle on a lower wage. Raising the minimum wage is a critical issue for the Democratic base, but a handful of Senators have refused to endorse the $10.10 hike. Senator Reid, however, recently said that he thought Americans would support a raise in the minimum wage.
Support for Democrats Lagging in Key Demographics
President Barack Obama’s approval rating hovers only a little above 40 percent and only 27 percent say “the country is moving in the right direction”, according to a new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll. Older, white voters without four-year college degrees express the greatest dissatisfaction with the President. A number of Democratic Senators are up for reelection in states with significant shares of older, white voters. Such states also heavily voted for Republican Mitt Romney in the last Presidential election.
Supposing the Republicans take the Senate in November, one of the biggest questions going forward is whether President Barack Obama will be able to work with his GOP adversaries in Congress to produce some compromises. Some speculate that there are a number of key issues that could prove to be fertile ground for compromises, like reforming the tax code or immigration policy. Republicans would have an incentive to work with the President since they would have to show they can produce a governing agenda. A number of Democrats, however, are quite concerned that the President will cave on issues crucial to the party base. For instance, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told Politico, “From his [President Obama’s] standpoint, better to advance the ball and maybe give away some stuff than leave nothing at all. From our standpoint, better to fight another day than give away core principles of contents and conviction.”
Congress on Immigration Reform: Will It? Won’t It?
One of the biggest issues that Congress could strike a deal on would be immigration reform. When that will happen seems to be anyone’s guess. Last week, Speaker John Boehner and Representatives Aaron Schock and Adam Kinzinger, both of Illinois, made comments on the need for immigration reform. Recently, Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida suggested that a compromise is in the offing. “So I think we finally have the policy right. And what we’re finding is more and more people out there as they’re seeing it, different aspects of the policy, are starting to say, ‘Hey, that is something that makes sense’”, he told Roll Call. On the other hand, Representative Schock said on Monday morning that he didn’t think that a comprehensive bill will be forthcoming; rather, he thought that the House would take a piecemeal approach.
And for our latest post: Cracks in the Senatorial Saucer: Filling the Tree, Cloture, and Curtailing Senate Debate