Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySchumer kicks into reelection mode Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act Senators eye rollback of Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (D-Wash.) dared Republicans to defend their votes against bills to raise the minimum wage, address equal pay for women and allow student to refinance loans.

Senate Democrats have made those three issues central to their “fair shot” agenda ahead of the midterm elections.


“Democrats have put solutions on the table: a higher minimum wage, student debt relief, giving women more tools to fight pay discrimination, and more,” Murray said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “And if Republicans have more to say than ‘no,’ it’s time for them to do the same.

“If Republicans are going to reject our ideas, I think our constituents deserve to hear what else they have to offer.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed to hold votes on those three bills again before adjourning to campaign for the midterm elections. Republicans have accused Democrats of playing politics ahead of elections that could flip control of the Senate.

“In the coming days, we are going to bring these issues to the forefront once again and make another push for our Republican colleagues to join us,” Murray said.

Time is running out to hold these votes. The Senate has only two weeks to pass a short-term resolution to keep the government funded after Sept. 30 and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The Senate is currently debating a constitutional amendment on campaign finance reform that doesn't have a chance of passing.

Murray said the new votes — likely to happen at the end of this week and the beginning of next — would give Republicans an opportunity to defend their positions of offer alternatives that would boost the economy and give women and families a “fair shot.”

“My Republican colleagues blocked these bills the last time Democrats brought them to the floor,” Murray said. “So today, I’m also going to urge my Republican colleagues to say something besides ‘no’ when it comes to higher wages for workers, college affordability, and pay equity.”