Today in the Annals of Futility. From The New York Times:
The bill would more than double the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour — about $15,000 a year for someone working 40 hours a week, or about $10,000 less than the federal poverty level for a family of four. It has not been raised since 2009, the longest time the country has gone without a minimum-wage increase since it was established 1938. The measure, which passed largely along party lines, 231-199, after Republicans branded it a jobs-killer, faces a blockade in the Senate, where Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he will not take it up. Only three Republicans voted for it, while six Democrats opposed it. Most represent swing districts.
“This is an historic day,” declared Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who argued that raising the minimum would disproportionately help women, who make up more than half of minimum wage workers, and would particularly help women of color. Turning to Republicans, she said: “No one can live with dignity on a $7.25-per-hour minimum wage. Can you?”
Actually, this bill is as dead as Kelsey's nuts in the Senate and everybody knows it. Mitch McConnell will not even allow it to come to a vote. And this whole ball-spiking in the House strikes me as peculiar. After all, the Democratic House leadership won't even swing for an impeachment inquiry at least in part because it never would result in a conviction in the Senate. But this bill, which has no more chances of passing through the Senate than an impeachment would, is an occasion for chest-pounding.
And, of course, there was resistance among the only Democrats in the House that seem to matter. They got courted. They got their hands held. They didn't get snotty remarks aimed at them through the moth-eaten cultural references of Maureen Dowd.
Still, Democratic moderates — especially those who represent districts carried by President Trump — were nervous about the measure, and it took champions of the bill months to bring them around. In the end, the sponsors tacked on two provisions: one authorizing a study of the measure’s effects after it has been in place for two years, and another extending the deadline for a $15 minimum wage from 2024 to 2025.
(And we note, once again, the customary framing of progressives and "Democratic moderates." Apparently, the conservative Democrat continues to be a mythical beast.)
In other words, to win over the only Democrats who matter, the leadership had to set the bill's effective date for six years from now, and they had to authorize a study two years after that. If any progressive congresscritter had tried that kind of a hold-up, the howls from the leadership and from sensible liberal pundits wouldn't have yet died away. Six Democrats voted against it anyway. They will pay no political price. Because they matter.
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