House Democrats have vowed to use a little known tactic called a ‘discharge petition’ in hopes of hurting Republicans in the 2014 mid-term elections. The petition will be focused on the issues of immigration and raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. FOX News reports that House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) does not expect the discharge petition to be successful in actually advancing the legislation, as it rarely has been. However, she does hope to tarnish the reputation of Republicans among voters with this strategic tactic.
The tactic is known as a “discharge petition.” It would require the minority party, in this case Democrats, to persuade roughly two dozen Republicans to defy their leadership and join Democrats in forcing a vote on setting the federal minimum wage at $10.10 an hour.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said fellow chamber Democrats will push the issue when Congress returns from its break Feb. 24.
The attempt to force a vote on a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws could occur in a few months.
Democrats think that a majority of Americans support both issues and that attempting to use the discharge petition will at least portray House Republicans as the obstacle to their success.
Perhaps the House Democrats look at research coming out of Seattle, WA, an area facing a push for a minimum wage increase from $9.32 to $15. In an article written by Daniel Hurst in NWWatchdog.org, Hurst addresses the real economic impact of a minimum wage hike, and it is not lifting people out of poverty.
In a 2010 article for the Southern Economic Journal, academics Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V.Burkhauser pulled the rug from underneath the idea that the wage hike ultimately will solve economic hardships for poor Americans.
“While an increase in the minimum wage will lift out of poverty the families of some low-skilled workers who remain employed, other low-skilled workers will lose their jobs or have their hours significantly cut, reducing their income and dropping their families into poverty,” the duo wrote.
Further, they added that the wage-hike idea is politically popular, but not effective in achieving its aims.
“While reducing poverty among the working poor is a laudable policy goal, the evidence suggests that minimum-wage increases have thus far provided little more than symbolic support to this population,” they wrote in the document.