Yesterday I admonished Rep. Dave Reichert for repeatedly blocking a vote on raising the minimum wage, which at $5.15/hour is now mired at a 50-year low. (Although as far as I know he’s never objected to a Congressional pay raise.)
I implied that opposing a living minimum wage was simply a Republican Party value, but according to the National Journal’s Hotline this isn’t necessarily true of the party’s real “moderates”:
A group of 25 moderate House Republicans — most of them affiliated with the Northeast/Midwest-heavy GOP labor caucus — has penned a letter to Maj Leader John Boehner seeking a vote to increase the minimum wage before the August recess. The list of signees includes many of the House GOP Conference’s most vulnerable members: All three from CT, NY Rep’s John Sweeney and Jim Walsh, plus PA’ans Curt Weldon and Michael Fitzpatrick.
Reichert is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House. Vulnerable moderate Republicans are seeking a vote on raising the minimum wage. Yet Reichert is not amongst them.
So… is Dave Reichert a moderate?
Hotline is quick with an update…
Looks like Boehner and Co released the Conference. By a margin of 260-159, the House this afternoon passed a non-binding “motion to instruct” procedure in support of upping the minimum wage to $7.25 per-hour. Though symbolic, the vote allows the vulnerable GOPers to point to an actual vote matching their promises. All the endangered GOPers on the letter voted ‘yea,’ as did Ney and Gerlach.
The vote also provides the Dems with a record of which GOPers voted ‘nay.’ Those opposing it, as Rahm surely scribbled down, included: Mike Sodrel (IN), Charlie Taylor (NC), Thelma Drake (VA), Dave Reichert (WA) and J.D. Hayworth (AZ).
So Reichert refuses to join vulnerable moderate Republicans in supporting a vote on the minimum wage. I suppose that just shows Reichert for what he really is: a vulnerable conservative.
I just want to be clear about why this vote is so important. Vulnerable, moderate Republicans voted for the minimum wage, yet even when freed to vote his conscience, Reichert voted against it. That surely says something about Reichert’s conscience.