Martha Robertson, the Democratic candidate for the House in New York’s 23rd, favors raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10. So do 73 per cent of Americans, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Small wonder. An increase to $10.10 would lift 900,000 workers out of poverty, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At $7.25, they must depend on SNAP food benefits and other public programs simply to survive. Any sensible person ought to favor the increase.
Not so, Tom Reed. In March 2013, House Republicans, including Reed, unanimously voted down a measure that would have brought the increase to the floor. H.R. 1010, sponsored by Rep. George Miller of California, would also reset the minimum wage at $10.10, but the bill has been been bottled up in the Republican-controlled Committee on Education and the Workforce since April of that same year. Democratic efforts to force a vote on the bill in 2014 never had a chance thanks to to Republican stonewalling.
Reed and the Republicans are taking an extreme position on this issue — one that is at odds with the national interest and the wishes of the majority. That’s one more reason to vote for Martha Robertson on November 4.