June 29, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
St. Louis, Mo – The Democratic Party’s platform-drafting committee rejected explicitly calling for a $15-an-hour national minimum wage indexed to inflation on June 24. The 8-6 vote split along political lines, with Bernie Sanders’ five appointees supporting the amendment and most of Hillary Clinton’s supporters voting no.
The current draft says the Democrats hope to “raise and index the minimum wage,” but Sanders supporter Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) proposed changing that to “raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and index it.” Clinton appointee Paul Booth, an American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees official, said the current language “is exactly what we need,” adding that it indicates that the party backs moving toward a $15 minimum wage, with “different ways of getting there in different states.” The committee also rejected amendments supporting a $15 minimum for federal contractors’ employees, opposing cuts in workers’ pensions, and urging Congress not to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Sanders, speaking in Syracuse, N.Y., June 24, said his supporters would take the fight to Orlando, Florida, where the full platform committee will meet in July. Read more