Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that, if Republicans cared about the economy, then it was “illogical” for them to oppose raising the federal minimum wage.
Later Wednesday, the Senate will take a first procedural vote on whether to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Republicans are expected the block the legislation.
Reid said Republicans oppose the bill because they’ve been told a “yes” vote will reduce campaign contributions from conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch.
“The will of the Koch brothers seems to be the top priority for my Republican colleagues,” Reid said. “They said they’re going to score this vote. It means if you vote "yes," you’re not going to get the help of Charlie and Dave.”
Republicans argued that an increase of the minimum wage would harm job growth, citing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that said the Senate bill would cost the economy nearly 1 million jobs.
"Our constituents tell us they want us to focus on jobs," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. "Instead, Democrats are pushing legislation today that would cost 1 million jobs."
Democrats have made income equality a central issue to their midterm election agenda.