Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Democrats Fight To Raise Minimum Wage, Republicans Fight To Give Themselves A Raise...

Need a more vivid illustration of the differences between Democrats and Republicans?
Democrats in the House and Senate want the $5.15-per-hour federal minimum wage, in place since 1997, to rise in 70-cent increments to $7.25 by January 1, 2009.

In arguing for the minimum-wage increase, Democrats are emphasizing that salaries for members of Congress have risen $31,600 during the time the minimum wage has been frozen.
They complain that rising costs for gasoline, utilities, education and food have taken a chunk out of minimum-wage paychecks, which sometimes have to support entire families.
Republicans in Congress have blocked numerous attempts to raise the minimum wage, saying it would backfire by causing small businesses to hire fewer entry-level workers.

But with Republican control of the House and Senate uncertain after the November congressional elections, some moderate Republicans have been joining with Democrats to support a minimum-wage increase.
To be fair, 8 Senate Republicans did vote last week to raise the minimum wage for the first time in almost 10 years.

It's just a shame that 46 of their fellow GOP'ers disagreed.

That includes you, Katie and Johnny...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Minimum Wage Vote Vexing for GOP

After Wednesday's Senate showdown rejecting a hike, Democrats hope to gain a potent campaign issue for fall.
WASHINGTON – In an election year, it's a dream issue for the Democrats: The Republican-controlled Congress has not raised the federal minimum wage in nine years, despite strong public support for an increase. Wednesday, the Senate voted down a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage, by a vote of 52 to 46, and also struck down a Republican version that included provisions the Democrats consider poisonous.

At the current minimum wage, $5.15 an hour, a full-time worker would earn $10,712 a year, which is below the federal poverty line for a family of three. The Democrats propose an hourly increase of $2.10, and promise that if they take over control of Congress after the fall elections, they will raise the minimum wage on their first day in power.

The public backs the Democrats. An April survey by the Pew Research Center shows 83 percent of the public favors raising the minimum wage by $2. That figure includes 72 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of people with household incomes of $75,000 or higher.
Read the whole thing here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Quote of the Day

“Focus Group-Tested Buzz Words…Like ‘Cut and Run’ Demean the Debate and Debase the Seriousness of War”

Guess who said this.

John Murtha? Nope.

Ted Kennedy? Wrong again!

Nancy Pelosi? Three strikes, you're out, dude!

It is actually Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska.

Watch the video.

Here's the full transcript:
Congress fails in its duty when we do not probe, when we fail, we do not ask tough questions, and we fail when we do not debate the gate issues of our day. There is no issue more important than war. The war in Iraq is the defining issue on which this Congress and the administration will be judged. The American people want to see serious debate about serious issues from serious leaders. They deserve more than a political debate. This debate should transcend cynical attempts to turn public frustration with the war in Iraq into an electoral advantage. It should be taken more seriously than to simply retreat into focus-group tested buzz words and phrases like “cut and run,” catchy political slogans that debase the seriousness of war. War’s not a partisan issue, Mr. President. It should not be held hostage to political agendas. War should not be drug down into the political muck. America deserves better. Our men and women fighting and dying deserve better.