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: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Health care policy FAQ

    What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Federal health bill would undercut governor’s plan for altered Medicaid expansion

    On Thursday, the same day that Governor Hutchinson signed legislation approving “Arkansas Works 2.0,” his plan to enact changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program, the U.S. House passed a bill that would undermine many of the program’s key tenets.
    • May 5, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

  • Camera catches racist rant in NWA Walmart

    A Facebook video that catches an ugly rant against a Latina woman and a black person in a Walmart in Centerton, Ark., has gone viral. Note that a Walmart manager in the video takes the side of those berated and the company said it doesn't condone such.
  • Wisconsin congressman nails Betsy DeVos on charter schools

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss, testifying before Congress about the Trump plan to send federal dollars into the black hole of charter schools and vouchers, squirmed when a Wisconsin congressman confronted her with the failure of charters in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
  • Rutledge praises government regulation in lawsuit settlement

    Arkansas will get $499,138 as one of 33 states in a $33 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson of a complaint about quality of over-the-counter drugs. PS: Today only, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge LIKES government regulation.
  • Police arrest second suspect in 2-year-old's slaying

    Deshaun Rushing, 21, turned himself in to Little Rock police today on a charge that he killed two-year-old Ramiya Reed Nov. 22.
  • The highway name game in Conway

    Signs are going up for a new parkway in Conway that memorializes living legislators. Ah, memories.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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