Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday kept up his war against the conservative Koch brothers by calling one of them a “sulking billionaire.”
Reid has spent several weeks accusing Charles and David Koch of trying to “buy” the Senate and send it back to Republican control. Reid’s war on the Kochs started at about the same time that many predicted that Republicans have a good chance of taking back the Senate, as many vulnerable Democrats are up for re-election this year.
Earlier this month, Charles Koch slammed Reid in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and said he was fighting against “collectivists.” Reid answered that charge Tuesday in a floor speech in which he called on senators to support an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.
“Before any sulking billionaire comes forward and is upset and pens an op-ed in some newspaper calling me a collectivist, as they have done, let me be clear. This … is a question of fairness,” Reid said. “Do we believe it’s fair that fellow Americans work full time and be paid less than a livable wage? I hope not.”
“An increase in the federal minimum wage is good for America,” Reid added. “The heart of the minimum wage debate is not found in statistics, but rather a question we should ask ourselves, ‘what kind of a country do we aspire to be?’”
Democrats have set up a procedural vote this week on a minimum wage bill from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Harkin’s bill would boost the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, a change Democrats say is needed to support working families.
Many Republicans, however, say the wage hike is effectively a tax on small companies that would hinder job creation. At least five Republicans will be needed to advance the bill this week, but lack of GOP support means the bill is not expected to advance.