The Washington Post reports:
Democrats were incensed that the GOP leadership would couple the minimum wage hike, the first increase since 1997, with an estate tax cut that would reduce federal revenue by $268 billion over the next decade, to the overwhelming benefit of the country's richest families.
"This is beyond cynical. This is disgraceful," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) signaled he would try to scuttle the tax bill next week. "Republicans have made perfectly clear who they stand with and who they are willing to fight for: the privileged few," he said.
But Republicans believed they had found a way to snatch the minimum-wage issue away from Democrats, who had been using it as a cudgel, while securing passage of a central plank of their economic program: all but eliminating the estate tax.
The Republicans think increasing the minimum wage is just part of a game, or a piece in a game that is really about moving rich people out from under the tax code. For the million who would benefit from raising the wage from$5.15 to $7.25 over three years, it's a matter of moving up a little bit, though many would remain mired in poverty.
Shame on Mark Green. Shame on the Republicans.