Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave much lip service to the 100 hours legislative program and the new ethical atmosphere that would pervade the halls of congress under Democratic leadership. Now we get to see what that means…
First, as described at TMC, Senate Democratic Leader would not introduce the earmark package passed by the House, submitting a watered down version instead…leaving it up to the GOP to introduce the package…leaving us the unnatural sight of the Daily Kos agreeing with GOP Senator Tom Coburn.
But this could be rooted in anything from bad leadership to intra-chamber rivalry. The matter of the minumum wage is pure hypocrisy, and can only be laid at the feet of the oh-so-recently feted Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco.
On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.
The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.
One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.
Yes, I can imagine your reaction… “Wow! Exemptions partial to supporters of the party leadership! Big news! Next story-scientists determine breathing oxygen is necessary to support life!”
And, in the final bit of unbelievable logic:
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Pelosi said Wednesday that the speaker has not been lobbied in any way by StarKist or Del Monte.
I think this is a marvelous lesson in how quickly the congressional democratic leadership can adapt. It took the GOP several years after becoming the majority party before the GOP congressional leadership succumbed to the smell of congressional pork…it took the democrats less than 100 hours.
I guess this is all part and parcel of that marvelous legislative program they promised.