On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Minimum Wage Bill Passed Despite Dave Reichert

Yesterday the U.S. House passed a bill that will finally raise the minimum wage nationally.

I hope those that will benefit from it will remember that had the Democrats not taken a majority control of Congress it would never have happened.

In reporting it, the Seattle Times edited the Washington Post article to add local interest info:

Republican Rep. Dave Reichert joined the Democratic members of the Washington state delegation in voting for the bill. Republicans Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against it.
So Reichert voted with the Democrats did he? That's good, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

There were multiple votes that led up to the this vote, and on all of those other votes Dave Reichert voted against the Democrats, and against this minimum wage increase.

The first of these was Title V of H.RES.6. With a completely partisan split vote, Reichert joined his fellow Republicans to vote against Title V (200 nays to 232 yeas) which included:

SEC. 508. SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS: MINIMUM WAGE.

(a) Upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 2) to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage. All points of order against the bill and against its consideration are waived. The bill shall be considered as read. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) three hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their designees; and (2) one motion to recommit.

(b) During consideration of H.R. 2 pursuant to this resolution, notwithstanding the operation of the previous question, the Chair may postpone further consideration of the bill to a time designated by the Speaker.
That was on Friday.

On Wednesday Republicans tried to stall the bill. A Republican motion to recommit the bill with instructions to the House Committee on Education and Labor was struck down by a point of order. That was sustained by the Chair and then there was an appeal. A vote to table the motion to appeal passed 232 - 197 and Reichert joined his Republican buddies again voting against tabling the motion to appeal. All Democrats voted in favor.

That hurdle crossed, the motion to recommit the bill with instructions was raised again, and voted on. This time 54 Republicans thought better of it and joined all the Democrats to defeat the motion 287 to 144. However, Dave Reichert was not one of those 54 Republicans. He voted with the majority of Republicans once again to stall the bill.

Only after that final motion failed did the House vote on final passage 315 to 116. Only then did Dave Reichert vote in favor of increasing the minimum wage.

We should not forget how this went down. The fact is that the minimum wage bill passed despite Dave Reichert, not because of him.

2 Comment(s):

Comment by: Blogger Steve Zemke

Knowing how someone votes on critical procedural votes is important because they indicate what a Congressman really believes. Reichert is trying to have it both ways. He can tell business interests he tried to stop it, but we was outvoted. He can tell those supporting it that he voted for it, neglecting to mention the fact that he did everything he could to stop the final vote. What hypocrisy. Thanks for writing about this.

1/12/2007 12:49 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

That's the thing. Typically only the final passage votes are reported. They alone don't tell the whole story.

My mistake two years ago was waiting a year to pay close attention to each and every vote. I don't intend to make the same mistake twice.

1/12/2007 12:53 PM PT  

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