WASHINGTON – The Senate’s second-ranking Democrat says he’d be open to negotiating a compromise if Republicans block Democrats’ efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says Democrats’ goal remains a $10.10 minimum wage.
In the coming days, the Senate could debate a plan by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin that would gradually lift today’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016.
Democrats will need 60 Senate votes to overcome Republican opposition to the increase to $10.10. That means they will need at least five GOP votes to prevail.
No Republicans have publicly backed that increase, and Democrats have seemed unlikely to succeed.
The minimum wage bill is among several income-related issues Democrats are pushing as this fall’s congressional elections near.