Beltway Happenings
April 6, 2006--Former Sen. John Edwards returned to his old stomping grounds for a Capitol Hill rally with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in support of his efforts to raise the minimum wage.  Kennedy's "Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2005" (S.1062) would raise the minimum wage in three steps to $7.25 an hour.  Edwards has been working with groups in a number of states to get minimum wage initiatives on the ballot.  Among those attending the rally were a sizable contingent from the American Federation of Teachers and four or five women from Nebraska in town for the Women Work! conference.  Speaking to reporters after the event, Edwards said:
The point of what I'm doing is to continue the fight against poverty in the country and talk about issues and policy solutions that will help, and that includes raising the minimum wage, it includes helping with organizing efforts for unions in the workplace.
Edwards also addressed the ongoing immigration debate:
I think we ought to value work.  I think that it's important to do a much better job than we're doing now at keeping our Southern border secure, and Sen. Kennedy and Sen. McCain's bill has provisions to do that...   And in addition to that, people who've been living in the United States and working hard and raising their family deserve a chance to get on a path to our citizenship.  We don't want a group of second class citizens in America.  I think basically there are three choices about this.  We have 11 million people living here undocumented.  You know the choice is do nothing about it; you pretend it's not there.  Go try to find them all and send 'em away.  Or to find a reasonable way for them to become American citizens, and the third path is the one I consider the one that makes the most sense.
One America Committee
Sen. Edward Kennedy
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action