Dems: Minimum wage shouldn't be 'political fight'

Senate Democrats called for an increase in the federal minimum wage Monday.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said the issue has become “way too partisan.”

“We should have a bipartisan consensus that we regularly raise the minimum wage,” Durbin said. “It’s the paycheck, it’s the food, it’s the healthcare, [and] it’s the housing — these to me are the bedrocks of what we need to provide to working families.”

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Brown called on Republicans to support a bill from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would increase the minimum from $7.25 to $10.10 and would index regular wage increases to inflation.

“Let’s index this with inflation so we don’t have to go through this every three or four years,” Brown said. “There is just no reason we can’t get in the Christmas spirit if you will.”

Brown pointed out that the last minimum wage increase had broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Bush in 2007.

“It shouldn’t be a big political fight,” Brown said.

The two Democrats criticized some Republicans for arguing that a minimum wage increase would hurt small businesses and the economy. Durbin said facts just aren’t on their side.

Several states have increased the minimum wage and recently SeaTac, Washington raised it’s minimum wage to more than $15 an hour and Washington, D.C., just raised its to more than $11 an hour.