After repeated delays by conservatives, the Senate voted 87–10 today to end debate on legislation that will raise the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, from $5.15 to $7.25. The bill will move to a full vote in the next several days.
Ten right-wing senators stuck together and voted to further delay raising the minimum wage:
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
As ThinkProgress detailed in a report last year, at least two of those 10 senators — Gregg and Isakson — are multimillionaires with a combined fortune of up to $35.5 million. Despite their enormous personal wealth, they refuse to grant even a small raise to the nearly 8 million Americans who live on $5.15 an hour:
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)TOTAL HOLDINGS: Between $3,402,000 and $10,055,000
HIGHLIGHTS: In Oct. 2005, Gregg won $853,000 in the Powerball lottery. He owns between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in Fleet Bank, as well as between $250,000 and $500,000 in Bristol Myers stock and between $50,000 and $100,000 in Exxon and Verizon stock.
KEY QUOTE: “If you start losing jobs because you raise minimum wage too quickly, too fast that small employers can’t afford it, that’s going to have an effect on peoples’ opportunity to work.” [Gregg, 6/21/06]
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)TOTAL HOLDINGS: Between $7,631,000 and $25,515,000
HIGHLIGHTS: Isakson owns between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in both Wachovia and Riverside Bank stock. He also holds 12 acres of Georgia real estate valued between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000.
KEY QUOTE: “Robert Reich, once observed ‘most minimum wage workers aren’t poor.’ He is right.” [Isakson, 6/20/06]