Political Theater Instead of Substance

Unfortunately, Friday's vote on the minimum wage was about political theater rather than passing substantive legislation. That's why I joined most of my Democratic colleagues in voting against the plan to link a hike in the minimum wage to a deficit-expanding tax break for the rich.

The House majority intentionally created a bill that its own members could support and most Democrats would oppose. That's how they ended up with a proposal that provided a modest increase in the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for nine years, while also giving a huge tax cut for the wealthy that would increase the deficit. There is no other rationale for linking the two efforts.

I strongly support increasing the minimum wage from its current $5.15 an hour to $7.25 cents an hour. This provides low-wage earners a little help to pay for gasoline, food, rent and other critical items that cost far more than they nine years ago.  I could not vote for a fiscally irresponsible plan, which does not have the votes to pass the Senate, to slash the estate tax before our budget deficit is significantly reduced or eliminated.

More in Labor

Capitol Hill cafeteria workers to receive $1M in back wages

Read more »