Schumer: Blame State Senate, Not Cuomo For Minimum Wage Failure
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schunmer, in Menands today for an event pushing tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, said he wants to see the federal and state governments both raise the minimum wage.
“I think we should get this done at the state level and the federal level,” Scumer said. “If you work hard 40 hours a wekk you should be able to supporty your family in decent way. With inflaton going up, to raise the minimum wage to go up a little bit makes imminent sense to me, I’ve always stood for it.”
But he disagreed with the notion that popular Gov. Andrew Cuomo (perhaps the only other statewide official who rivals him in popularity right now) did enough to personally lobby the measure.
“From what I understand, it’s the state Senate that’s blocking it,” Schumer said. “Gov. Cuomo is for it and I think the state Assembly has passed it.”
Schumer, along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, signed on to a bill at the federal level that raise the minimum wage to $9.80.
New York’s current minimum wage is $7.25, the same as the current federal minimum wage. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, had pushed a bill that raise the wage to $8.50 in New York and tie future increases to the rate of inflation.
Though he favors a minimum wage increase, Cuomo said the measure was too difficult to pass in a Republican-led Senate and that the lift would have been heavier than the approval of same-sex marriage last year.
Senate Republicans have said they wouldn’t pass a minimum wage increase now, considering the fragile economic recovery (and yet several of their candidates in contested races, including Bob Cohen and Eric Ulrich, have said they would conditionally back a wage increase).
The federal minimum wage bill for now seems largely symbolic, given the legislative gridlock in Washington.
Schumer, the second-highest ranking lawmaker in the Senate, said he hoped to see some sort of resolution to the pending budget cuts and tax increases due to take effect at the beginning of the year following last summer’s debt ceiling debate.
He referenced the Democratic plan to keep the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000, which is a proposal that will not fly wit House Republicans.
“I hope so because the future of the country depends on it. For instance I have a number of bipartisan meetings this week and a few dinners on how we can break through the morass to get this done. But our focus has to be on the middle class,” he said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm, and is filed under Chuck Schumer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|