By Erik Wasson - 02/25/14 03:49 PM EST
Dems to roll out minimum wage discharge petition
House Democrats on Wednesday will unveil a discharge petition meant to force GOP leaders to hold a vote on raising the minimum wage.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will lead an event in the early afternoon to announce the petition in support of an increase of the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.
The Hill first reported the discharge petition was coming over the weekend.
It is expected to get at least 190 out of 200 Democrats in support. Getting centrist Republicans to sign on could be a tall order because signatures on discharge petitions tend to be used against members in the majority when they run for high posts such as committee chairman.
Democrats believe they can discredit and overcome last week’s Congressional Budget Office report that found 500,000 jobs could be lost as a result of raising the wage by 2016. The CBO report has been criticized as being outside the mainstream of current economics, and regardless, raising the wage enjoys broad support in national polls.
Senate Democrats are formally delaying any vote on the minimum wage until at least the March 24 work period, however. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that delays in work on unemployment insurance and on a veterans jobs bill have pushed the issue further into the year.
Senate Democrats are not united on the wage hike. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) supports an increase to $9 per hour in Arkansas.