WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic push to boost the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is a long shot in Congress this election year, even after President Barack Obama made it a centerpiece of his State of the Union address.
Few expect Democrats to muster the 60 votes needed in a showdown Senate roll call that Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to hold on the minimum wage by early March. The Republican-run House rejected a similar plan last year and seems unlikely to revisit the issue soon.
Win or lose, Democrats are eager for votes on raising the current $7.25 minimum wage. It hasn't been increased since 2009. Democrats aim to appeal to cash-strapped families, and also deflect Republican attempts to focus instead on the troubled startup of Obama's health care law.