Progressives Happy With a Half-Win on Minimum Wage

Obama’s coming executive action will affect only a fraction of the federal workforce. The Progressive Caucus cochairman is still pumped.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) speaks during a news conference January 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. House Democrats held a news conference to announce new legislation to eliminate the federal debt ceiling.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Jan. 28, 2014, 4:25 a.m.

It doesn’t mat­ter that Pres­id­ent Obama will an­nounce rais­ing the min­im­um wage for only a frac­tion of the fed­er­al work­force — pro­gress­ives are ec­stat­ic.

“I’m pumped up,” Pro­gress­ive Caucus Co­chair­man Keith El­lis­on said this morn­ing. “I’m so happy that I’m play­ing Brazili­an mu­sic here.”

The Min­nesota Demo­crat led an ef­fort to push Pres­id­ent Obama to raise the min­im­um wage for work­ers on fed­er­al con­tracts. And low-wage fed­er­al con­tract work­ers have been protest­ing for an in­crease in pay, since rais­ing the min­im­um wage for all work­ers has been a heavy lift in Con­gress. Obama will an­nounce at to­night’s State of the Uni­on that he will raise the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for these work­ers. But it’s only for work­ers on new con­tracts, rep­res­ent­ing sev­er­al hun­dred thou­sand work­ers. Des­pite that, pro­gress­ives are de­clar­ing a win.

“We feel great about it. To me, it’s evid­ence that act­iv­ism works. If you pe­ti­tion your gov­ern­ment peace­fully for the right thing, something that helps people,” it will hap­pen, El­lis­on said. “It’s not al­ways on your timeline…. This is not a com­plete vic­tory, but we also un­der­stood that half of something is bet­ter than all of noth­ing.”

Sen. Tom Har­kin, the lead­ing Sen­ate ad­voc­ate for a fed­er­al min­im­um wage in­crease, is pleased, too. But he isn’t sat­is­fied. “This ex­ec­ut­ive or­der is a strong step in the right dir­ec­tion, and I am grate­ful for Pres­id­ent Obama’s lead­er­ship,” the Iowa Demo­crat said in a state­ment. “But as I know the pres­id­ent would agree, it’s only a first step.”

What We're Following See More »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
4 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×