Some vulnerable Democrats up for reelection have expressed concern about the wage increase, citing a Congressional Budget Office report that Harkin’s bill would harm job growth. Some of them have come out in support of a smaller increase to $9 an hour proposed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
If Democrats stuck together, they’d need at least five Republicans to vote with them to advance the measure. But Republicans are unified against it, which has put pressure on Democrats to minimize defections in their 55-member caucus.
I suppose it’s encouraging that there’s at least one Republican who would like to increase the minimum wage by something. But it’s pretty remarkable that there isn’t a single Republican who supports a boost to $10.10.
* Relatedly, Reid is now seizing on the minimum wage issue to tie his attacks on the Koch brothers to what’s going on in Congress:
“As the Senate turns its attention to increasing the federal minimum wage, which we moved to earlier today, is there any question as to whether Republicans will once again do the Koch brothers bidding? Of course not,” Reid said. “They’re not ready to give millions of Americans a fair shot at earning a decent wage.”
* Roll Call rounds up a number of data points suggesting immigration reform’s chances could be alive again among House Republicans. Notable: Tea Party Senator Mike Lee claims many Republicans are “eager to pass some sort of immigration reform.” The window to keep an eye on: After the primaries, but before the August recess. — gs
* Meanwhile, Markos Moulitsas catches a Republican, Joe Barton of Texas, actually proposing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, albeit one that contains a path to citizenship only for children. Why? His 8-year-old has Hispanic friends and classmates. Funny what happens when you start seeing immigrants as human beings.
* Here’s the full Democracy Corps poll released today showing a turn in favor of the Affordable Care Act (and against repeal), particularly among independent voters.
* But Ron Brownstein reports on a National Journal poll that finds Obama’s numbers in terrible shape among the older, whiter voters that are key in the states where control of the Senate will be decided:
Among whites overall, just 35 percent said they approve of his performance, while 59 percent disapprove. That’s a slight improvement from the previous two Heartland Monitor Polls last fall, but still at the lower end of his range among whites since taking office. Obama faces an even larger 62 percent disapproval from both non-college whites and whites older than 50; only about one-third of each group approve of his performance…Whites without a college degree were nearly four times as likely to say Obama’s action are decreasing, rather than increasing, their opportunities to get ahead.
* North Carolina political types don’t think Thom Tillis is going to be able to avoid a runoff in the GOP Senate primary, meaning another couple of months of Republican-on-Republican action — and no GOP nominee until mid July.
* Senate Dems are considering allowing a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline as early as next week, so vulnerable red state Dem senators can show the voters back home how much they love that sweet tar sands crude (and how independent they are of national Democrats).
* Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers is rapidly walking back a local newspaper article that said she told an editorial board that the ACA is unlikely to be repealed, after Drudge played up her comments. Apparently in some quarters the truth about the law’s future is too much to bear…
* Dan Diamond digs deep to see how California got 3.3 million people to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, despite some problems along the way.
* Should anyone care if Donald Sterling is a Democrat or a Republican? After all, it’s not like before the tape emerged of him telling his “girlfriend” not to let anyone know she hangs with black people, he was embroiled in some kind of partisan controversy or was grazing his cows on federal land without paying for them. But alas, people do care. Matt Drudge tells everyone he’s a Democrat, because he donated to a couple of Democratic candidates two decades ago.
* Over at the American Prospect, I brought together Sterling, Cliven Bundy, and Paul Ryan in a meditation on words, ideas, and actions when it comes to race.
* And E.J. Dionne looks at the insanity of the recent “guns everywhere” law in Georgia and other similar efforts:
Nowhere else do elected officials turn the matter of taking a gun to church into a searing ideological question. But then, guns are not a religion in most countries.
As of yet, no one has taken up my “Totin’ Toddlers” proposal to allow 3-year-olds to pack heat. But just you wait.