Politics Magazine

The First Thing House Democrats Should Do In January

Posted on the 18 November 2018 by Jobsanger
The First Thing House Democrats Should Do In January (This caricature of the Democratic Party symbol is by DonkeyHotey.)
The Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in the midterm election on November 6th. It looks like they will have a big enough majority to do whatever they want once the 116th Congress begins in January.
There's been a lot of talk about what the Democrats should do with their substantial majority. Much of it has to do with subpoenas and investigations. That needs to be done, and it will be done -- but if all the Democrats do is attack the Trump administration, then they will have squandered this opportunity to show the voters they are the party to that the country needs.
They must pass some legislation -- and it should be legislation that will help this country and legislation the public wants.
An infrastructure bill is needed, and a bill to fix Obamacare. Both would make the public happy, and if done right, might even have enough support to get through the Senate also. But neither is going to be easy to do, and it will take some time to hold hearings and write a bill.
There is something else that would make a better start. It could be done very quickly, and has the support of a substantial majority of Americans. It is to raise the minimum wage significantly. That would give an economic boost to millions of Americans, and do it without more federal spending. And it would not just benefit those making at or near the minimum wage. It would put upward pressure on the wages of all working men and women. And a side benefit would be to take many hard-working families off the public dole. It would even benefit businesses, because they would be able to sell their products to the workers with more money to spend.
Sending a bill to the Senate that significantly raises the minimum wage would also be a smart political move. If the Senate approves it, then Democrats look good for proposing and passing it. If the Senate kills it (which is likely), Democrats still look good because the public will know it was the Republicans would killed it. Either way it's a win for Democrats.

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