February 25, 2014, 02:54 pm
Reid delays minimum wage vote
By Alexander Bolton
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday announced he will delay action on legislation raising the minimum wage, the centerpiece of the Democrats’ 2014 agenda.
Reid’s announcement comes in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office report released last week estimating that hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could cost as many as 500,000 jobs.
Reid has not yet unified his caucus on the issue. Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), one of the chamber’s most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, has said he does not support the legislation.
Reid, however, blamed the delay on Republicans.
“The obstruction continues and it slows things down,” he said. “We’ve also been hampered by trying to get an extension of unemployment benefits. The slowdown has been a result of continued obstruction.”
The legislation is now scheduled to come up after the March recess, which lasts from March 14 to 24.
Reid said he will move forward with the minimum wage bill even if some Democrats oppose it.
“People have a right to vote however they want,” he said. “But it makes it a little tougher [to oppose] around here when you have companies like Gap who have 65,000, 75,000 employees who’ve just done it. They’ve raised the minimum wage already. It’s happening all over the country.”
Reid dismissed the possibility of compromising on a rate lower than the $10.10 proposed by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.