Backed by nearly half of the Senate’s Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.) are introducing revamped legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 and index it to inflation.
The Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which Sanders and Murray will unveil later today, would hike the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, raising it to $9.25 immediately, and inching it up to $15 by 2024, while simultaneously raising the minimum wage for tipped workers.
With Republicans in control of Congress, the bill is largely a messaging vehicle, with no chance of passage. But its support from the conference is the latest example of the Democratic Party’s leftward shift since the defeat of 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The last version of the Sanders bill, 2015’s Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, had just five co-sponsors. The new bill counts 22 co-sponsors, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Just two years ago, Schumer resisted the $15 minimum wage proposal, instead co-sponsoring Murray’s legislation for a $12 wage — “a winner issue for us,” according to Schumer.
Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) will drop a companion bill in the House. Ellison has previously pushed for $15 an hour, while Scott joined Murray in calling for a $12 minimum wage hike last Congress.
The $15 minimum wage bill stands little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress, but could put pressure on GOP lawmakers to stand up for workers.
Sanders and the Democrats will rally Wednesday outside the Capitol building with a group of striking workers. The low-wage federal workers claim President Trump’s labor policies have started a “war on workers.”
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It is easy to dismiss the “Come Together and Fight Back” Tour that this week will take Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez to eight cities in eight states this week as mere political theater. But this tour has the potential to finally begin redefining a Democratic Party that is still struggling with its identity after the disastrous 2014 and 2016 election cycles. That’s a big deal, not just for a party that lacks focus but for an American political process that will alter dramatically—for better or for worse—in the months and years to come.
Political parties change identities over time, as anyone who has watched the sorry trajectory of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower can certainly attest. Sometimes, parties evolve. Sometimes, parties respond to moral and political demands that can no longer be denied. That was certainly the case for Democrats in the late 1940s and ’50s, when wise members of the party began to recognize the necessity of a clean break with the Southern segregationists who had historically been central figures in the Democratic coalition.
Though many Democrats still do not fully recognize the fact, their party is again at a moment where it must change.
The party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman began veering in the 1970s toward more centrist economic approaches. By the 1990s, it was swamped by so-called “Third Way” thinking that embraced free-trade fabulism, deregulation of banking and Wall Street, and the cruel lie that there can be some sort of “win-win” compromise between crony capitalism and the common good. It was never true that all Democrats favored centrist economics, but too many leaders constrained the party’s identity with a perceived need to keep on the right side of Wall Street.
The party does need to change. It must become dramatically more militant on economic issues. Democrats cannot simply say “no” to Donald Trump; they must provide a clear and coherent progressive populist alternative to the “billionaire populism” of a president who never was—and never will be—committed to advancing the interests of workers, farmers, small business owners, students, and retirees.
Democrats must also provide a clear and coherent alternative to the “Third Way” politics that weakens the message, and the appeal, of their party. The era of the so-called “New Democrats” and the old DLC (officially the Democratic Leadership Council but, in reality, as Jesse Jackson explained, “Democrats for the Leisure Class”) must be finished—once and for all.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Wednesday that the Democratic National Committee “absolutely” needs a major overhaul, responding Wednesday to a NBC News report that new chairman Tom Perez intends to shake up the party’s organizational structure and staffing.
The party “programmatically, in terms of how it does business, has failed,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“The Democratic Party today, programmatically, in terms of how it does business, has failed,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I mean the evidence is obvious. It’s not just that we’ve lost the White House and the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. We’ve lost 900 legislative seats in the last 8 or 9 years.”
So clearly the Democratic Party needs a top-down overhaul. And that top-down overhaul means that instead of becoming dependent and being dependent on big money interests for campaign contributions, it has got to become a grassroots party,” he said, citing a groundswell of grassroots energy opposing the GOP health care plan.
“Perez has got to capitalize that and that’s the kind of party the Democrats have to create,” Sanders added.
Well I go for away for a weekend and all hell breaks loose nothing changes. Thanks everyone for all the weekend coverage, as I go about my day I’ll go ahead and post what I’m reading and watching in the comments. If it’s a repeat of something already said in another thread, I apologize!
Moments after former labor secretary Tom Perez narrowly defeated Representative Keith Ellison in a battle to lead the Democratic party, the rivals appeared together at a press conference in downtown Atlanta. Pinned to his suit jacket, Ellison wore a blue “Team Tom” button. Perez wore a green “Keith for DNC” button.
The message was clear: the Democratic party would leave the city a united front. But the show of unity papered over anger that had erupted when Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, announced that Perez would be her successor.
“Party for the people, not big money!” a group of Ellison supporters chanted from the back of the hotel ballroom. When the jeering subsided and Perez was able to speak, he moved immediately to name Ellison as deputy chairman.
The room erupted in cheers. But the episode did not dispel a sense among Ellison supporters that Democrats had missed an opportunity to change course after years of election losses, especially at the state and local level.
“It looks bleak right now,” said Jean Ross, co-president of National Nurses United. Several members of the union came to Atlanta to cheer on Ellison, wearing their red scrubs.
“We thought we had a real chance to turn this party around. But apparently the old guard is willing to continue a losing streak.”
Does No One Care That up to 7 Million Votes Were Not Counted? By Thom Hartmann – Crosscheck kicked millions of people – overwhelmingly people of color, according to Palast – off the voting rolls before election day. In many key states, the number of people purged by Crosscheck was much, much larger than Trump’s margin of victory. MI, WI, PA – As of 1-9-2016 Thoms story has almost 40,000 FB shares, 800+ Twitter Shares, and 40,000+ shares in other ways. at 100,000+- shares, sharing is running 100 times that of many recent stories posted to his site. Does No … Continue reading →
Happy last day of August my friends! I gather things didn’t go too well in Florida yesterday. 🙁 Good luck people of Florida! What’s really got my attention this morning, though, is the letter that Reps. Elijah Cummings, John Conyers, Eliot Engel, and Bennie Thompson sent to the FBI yesterday. The letter, which presents no actual evidence of wrongdoing, and which follows up the one Harry Reid sent the FBI the other day, smacks of both a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the revealing Clinton emails and as a bald election season ploy to cast aspersions on a … Continue reading →
by Philip Weiss at mondoweiss.net In the continuing saga of the presence of Palestine in the Democratic Party platform, Clintonites on the platform committee [Saturday] voted down any reference to settlements and occupation and the misery of Gaza in the draft document. Progressives booed and shouted about the influence of AIPAC, the Israel lobby group, and a dozen stormed out of the hall in Orlando, FL, CNN reports. Cornel West and Maya Berry of the Arab American Institute made inspiring speeches, to naught. West said that Palestine has become the “Vietnam War” issue for young Americans, to raucous applause. And … Continue reading →
Former Sanders NH campaign director hired to key national Democratic Party post Julia Barnes, a veteran Democratic activist who was the New Hampshire director and national field director of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, has been tapped by state Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley for a key national party staff post. Buckley told WMUR.com on Sunday that Barnes will begin on Monday as the Executive Director of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, a group affiliated with the Democratic National Committee that includes the state party chairs and vice chairs of all 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, … Continue reading →
I am posting this for discussions sake (I borrowed @nomandates flame-retardant suit) and think the likelihood of such a scenario are about as slim as can possibly get but like I’ve said time and time again, I love a good discussion and hearing all your points of view. Plus I see a good deal of benefit to ‘Progressives’ in having the Green Party reach the thresholds for federal funding and debate participation. Green party’s Jill Stein invites Bernie Sanders to take over ticket Bernie Sanders has been invited to continue his underdog bid for the White House by the Green party’s probable … Continue reading →
by Philip Weiss at mondoweiss.net Election campaigns serve a lot of purposes, and it is increasingly obvious that Israel supporters on whom Hillary Clinton is dependent are using her campaign to put the knife in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. You will recall that Bernie Sanders’ loyalists on the Democratic platform committee spoke up for Palestinian rights and even BDS at an early meeting of that body, and Cornel West said the party was “beholden to AIPAC”, the leading Israel lobby group. West was on to something. Today Jewish Insider reports that an AIPAC board member sees the Clinton campaign as … Continue reading →
Trump, Clinton Less Popular Than NRA, Planned Parenthood: Poll A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as both parties’ presumptive presidential nominees, continue to be significantly unpopular with voters even as some of the country’s more controversial institutions are above water. The most disliked of all is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who is viewed unfavorably by a full 60 percent of the electorate, while only 29 percent offer a positive rating of the GOP standard-bearer (-31 rating). Hillary Clinton is not far behind, with 33 percent of voters giving … Continue reading →
Reaching what some have called mutiny level, Democrats continue the House floor protest as Paul Ryan attempts to get control. Democrats have been holding a sit in all day while protestors gather outside the Capitol building. Speeches, chanting, holding up signs with names of shooting victims and even singing of “We Shall Overcome” have been heard of the House floor today as legislators push for a vote on gun legislation. Bernie Sanders visited the House to show his support and was met with a standing ovation! H/T Benny Amazing scene on MSNBC right now as Paul Ryan tries to … Continue reading →
Sanders Returns To Washington More Powerful Than Ever Bernie Sanders may have lost the Democratic primary contest for president (yes, it’s over, even if he hasn’t formally conceded), but his campaign looks to be a win-win for his career in the Senate, where he returned Monday night. Voting for the first time since January—on a series of gun regulation proposals—the Vermont Independent attracted a crowd on the Senate floor, with colleagues from both sides of the aisle approaching his desk to give him a handshake or a pat on the back. “Welcome back, Bernie!” Arizona Republican John McCain, himself a … Continue reading →