Thursday, April 3, 2014

Compromise on federal minimum wage unlikely, Pryor maintains opposition

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

click to enlarge PRYOR: His political sweet spot is bad news for a federal minimum wage bill.
  • PRYOR: His political sweet spot is bad news for a federal minimum wage bill.
Sen. Mark Pryor makes the case in a guest post today here on the blog for raising the state minimum wage in Arkansas from $6.25 to $8.50 — but Pryor maintains his opposition to a Senate bill which would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. 

Pryor appears ready to join Republicans in the Senate filibustering the bill. Pryor, and perhaps a few Republicans, might go along with a smaller minimum wage hike (after all, Pryor's on record in favor of an $8.50 minimum wage). Greg Sargent at the Washington Post reports that according to Democratic aides, Pryor would probably support a federal minimum wage of $9.

So is there room for a compromise? Probably not, Sargent writes. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she was trying to gather support for a bipartisan bill that would hike the minimum wage, but not all the way up to $10.10...perhaps more in the Pryor territory of $9. However, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said that's a no-go. Democrats would likely take a pounding from their base and end up losing a few of the more liberal members of their caucus, while it's not clear that Collins can bring any Republican aboard in any case. 

Furthermore, the incentives run against the Democrats caving. They believe that this is political winner for them come November, as the Wall Street Journal reports today

Democrats are banking heavily on the minimum-wage fight to drive turnout this fall, highlighting the issue to energize their base and to paint the GOP as a party that doesn’t care about the middle class.

Pryor, meanwhile, is angling to capitalize on that energy while keeping his distance from President Obama, who remains incredibly unpopular in Arkansas. Pryor wants a minimum wage hike (popular!) but not that stinking Obamawage! As the Journal puts it: 

It’s not quite that simple in Arkansas, another Senate battleground where voters will decide whether to raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who faces a tough re-election, wants to raise the state threshold, but not the federal one, arguing the jump to $10.10 is “too fast.”

While Mr. Pryor needs Democrats to support him in November, he also needs to create as much daylight as possible between himself and the president.

I suspect that was a larger consideration than the policy finer points when Pryor wrote in his guest post: 

Now, Some in Washington, including President Obama, have recently called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10. While that might make sense for more affluent places like California or New York, I believe it could have a negative impact on employers’ ability to continue to provide jobs in a less wealthy state like Arkansas.

Another way of looking at it is that Arkansas workers would have more to gain than wealthier states from the hike to $10.10. But that sounds like something that "some in Washington, including President Obama" would say — so, oh well. If the incentives are lining up for most Senate Democrats to hold firm, they're also lining up for Pryor to straddle the fence. He can both be for increasing the minimum wage and standing against Reid and Obama. For Pyror, that's just about ideal. And that is one of the many reasons that the federal minimum wage bill is doomed. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Open line

    Over to you.
    • Jan 23, 2017
  • State Treasurer staffer resigns after offensive comments

    Treasurer Dennis Milligan today announced he has accepted the resignation of Hunter Hatcher, an Outreach Coordinator for the Treasurer's office. Hatcher publicly stated on social media that because Donald Trump was taking office, "Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos," and also made derogatory comments (in the form of lame jokes) regarding the role of women.
    • Jan 23, 2017
  • Mayberry bill to restrict access to abortion passes House

    Rep. Andy Mayberry's bill to ban dilation and evacuation, the safest abortion procedure in the second trimester (used in 95 percent of all second-trimester abortions in the United States), easily passed in the House today 78-10, with 10 not voting and 2 voting present.
    • Jan 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case

    Twelve of the lawyers facing punishment by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith for moving a class action case against an insurance company out of his court to a state court where it was speedily settled have filed their argument against sanctions.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • Transgender electrician may sue employer over her firing

    Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ruled that Patricia Dawson, a transgender woman, may pursue her lawsuit that she was wrongfully fired by her employer, H & H Electric, because of her sex.
    • Sep 16, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation