UPDATE: Senate Republicans blocked the vote on the bill to raise the minimum wage. Sixty votes were needed to overcome the Republican filibuster and the vote fell short 54-42 with all Republicans but Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) voting against giving low-wage working Americans a raise.
The Senate today is expected to vote on a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from its current $7.25 an hour. The last time the minimum wage was raised was in 2009 and its value has severely eroded. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would raise the wages of 28 million hardworking Americans.
Senate Democrats fought back today against years of Republican blockades and obstruction of President Barack Obama’s executive branch and judicial nominations by voting to change Senate rules to guarantee an up or down vote on most nominees. Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
It’s time to give low-wage workers the raise they deserve by increasing the federal minimum wage. You can tell your senators that today, by clicking here to take part in a National Call-In Day of Action. Or, you can call 1-888-492-8867. Senate Democrats want to vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage, but Republicans will filibuster even allowing a vote on the bill and it will take 60 votes to break the filibuster and allow the bill to come to the floor.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is now fully staffed and able to continue to function to protect workers’ rights after the Senate today confirmed five members. The votes end a months-long blockade on President Obama’s nominees by Senate Republicans who threatened to shut the board down Aug. 27. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the confirmations are:
Good news for all workers seeking to exercise the rights they are guaranteed by law. Those essential rights include the ability to bargain together for fair wages and living standards and a workplace safe from abuse, harassment and intimidation.
The Senate today voted (54-46) to confirm Thomas E. Perez as labor secretary. His nomination had been threatened by a filibuster, but Republicans backed down this week as Democrats were preparing to change Senate rules to allow simple up or down majority votes on executive branch nominees.
With Senate Democrats on the verge of changing Senate rules to block filibusters on executive branch nominees, Senate Republicans yesterday relented on their obstruction tactics that have blocked votes on several of President Obama’s nominees for key Cabinet and agency posts, including the National Labor Relations Board. Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
OMG! Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he won’t stand in the way of a vote on President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Well, sort of. McConnell says that out of the president’s bipartisan package of five nominees, Republicans won’t filibuster the two Republicans and just one of the three Democratic nominees.
Senate votes on several of President Obama’s nominees to vital cabinet and agency positions, including Secretary of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members, could come as soon as Monday. Republicans have blocked those and other nominations through Senate rules and filibuster threats.