Roll Call reports today:
Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has warned that he may block a House-Senate conference on the minimum-wage bill unless he is assured his Democratic colleagues will join him in demanding inclusion of a sizable tax-cut package … much larger than the $1.4 billion House-passed proposal.
Grassley wants his demands met before any House-Senate conference, or else he’ll filibuster a vote on naming people to the conference.
Senate Dems have been trying a strategy of accommodation to avoid a filibuster.
But the Roll Call article indicates Republicans are worried what might happen if Democrats call their bluff:
Senate Republicans are wary of the political and public relations pitfalls of appearing to block completion of a minimum-wage bill, if they back Grassley in any floor fight.
GOP Senators are still feeling the sting of being blamed for the impasse over that chamber’s Iraq debate, several Republican sources said.
“For Republicans to hold together … there also has to be some political pressure to counter what the press is writing,” said one Senate tax aide. “The merits of what [Republicans] are fighting for just aren’t getting reported.”
The aide added, that “Republican Senators need a sense of how it’s going to play out” if they vote to block conferees.
Here’s a sense: the public will learn that your disrespect for the American worker runs so deep, that you will kill a 10-year overdue raise — supported by 80% of voters — on behalf of your business lobby backers.