By Erik Wasson - 11/07/13 02:39 PM EST
Durbin: White House 'very supportive' of $10 minimum wage push
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Thursday the White House has signaled its supported for raising the minimum wage above $10 an hour.
Durbin (D-Ill.) emerged from a caucus lunch meeting with White House economic adviser Jason Furman to say the White House is on board with the push for a $10.10 minimum wage.
“The explanation here suggested that he would be very supportive of $10,” Durbin said.
President Obama had called for a $9 federal minimum wage in his State of the Union address but had not publicly endorsed a bill by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to bring the $7.25 minimum to $10.10.
“We are all kind of in the $10 range. Virtually all of us,” Durbin said of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “It’s long overdue, it’s an important economic issue.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said that it is not clear which bill will come to the Senate floor, but that Furman did not push $9 instead of $10.
“We didn’t talk strategy at all. It was strictly an economic discussion of how important it is to adjust the minimum wage,” Cardin said. “I do think it will get bipartisan support.”
Cardin denied that Democrats are trying to distract from the failures of the ObamaCare website.
“We are trying to deal with important economic issues that help us with economic growth,” he said. “Let’s get some work done.”
What happens to the minimum wage bill in the House remains an open question, but so far there are no signs House leaders are willing to take up the issue.
“It will go in that little dark room where [Speaker] Boehner puts all the bipartisan measures,” Durbin quipped.