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Making The Point For Working Families


Bob Geiger got an exclusive interview with Harry Reid — and the whole interview, including a few audio clips, is up on Bob's blog.  But I wanted to highlight one particular snippet for everyone:

Geiger: One ongoing drama I've seen in watching the Senate every day is the battle that Senator Kennedy has had over the minimum wage — and seeing how many times that's been shot down by the Republicans unless it happened to be attached to an Estate Tax cut. I think people are very encouraged with what they expect to happen with that in the coming months and what I'm wondering, sir, is that for low-income Americans who may be a little disillusioned with Washington and maybe not understand how it operates, what can you say to them about the minimum wage being raised with Democrats in charge of the Congress?

Reid: To show you how strongly we feel about this, we told the Republicans that there will be no Congressional pay raise unless you raise the minimum wage. There's no minimum wage increase, there's no Congressional pay raise for the first time in many years.

We're serious about this. We want the people in this country, the hardest working, to be able to work instead of going on welfare and make a living. Right now, you can't do that. You make a little over $10,000 a year working 40 hours a week — try living on that. It's very hard to do. So I feel comfortable that we can pass a minimum wage increase. I guess I put it in this vernacular: I dare the Republicans to stop us from doing it. [Audio]

Geiger: Do you feel confident that it will happen in the first month or two of the new Congress?

Reid: It will happen in the first six weeks that we're back.

Clear, concise, and right on point for working families. If this keeps up, I may actually be able to smile more often while watching C-Span come January.  For more on miminum wage discussions, try this article from The Nation, this one from David Sirota, this from the NYTimes, just for starters.  Funny how having not raised the minimum wage in close to 20 years is a huge, huge bone of contention — but the Congress having raised it's own wages by around $35,000 the last few years is much ado about nothing, isn't it?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com