WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- A measure to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour failed to advance in the Senate Wednesday, with all but one Republican member voting to block the measure.
Members voted 54-42, short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster to move the bill forward for passage. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., switched his vote to no after it became clear the measure would fail so he could file a motion to reconsider the bill, which he did so immediately.
“The fact that in America there are full-time working mothers and fathers, who must juggle two to three jobs, just to provide food and shelter for their children is unconscionable," Reid said.
One Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, was the only member to break with his caucus and vote for the bill, but had said he planned to vote against its final passage. Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat, said ahead of the vote he would have opposed it, but was in his state due to the tornadoes that have killed 19 people, including 14 in his state.
While Wednesday's outcome was expected, Democrats were more than willing to force their Republican colleagues to go on the record in opposition to raising the minimum wage, hoping to paint their opponents as out-of-touch with the average American and a friend to only the wealthiest.