A Democratic bill to raise the federal minimum wage failed in a key procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The defeat was expected, but that did not deter Senate Democrats who have pledged to make it an issue in the 2014 elections.
“Today we saw a clear distinction between what we’re fighting for, we Democrats, and the Republicans, what they’re fighting for. They’re fighting for the billionaires. We’re fighting for people who are struggling to make a living,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., following the vote.
Democrats needed 60 votes to move forward with legislation that would gradually raise in three phases the hourly federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Democrats fell five votes short of the 60 votes necessary to move forward.
“This is not the only time that you will see the Senate vote on the minimum wage bill this year. We’ll be back again and again, and we’ll keep trying until we get this to the president’s desk.,” said Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a chief sponsor of the bill.