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This week, House Democrats filed a discharge petition in hopes of bringing legislation to the floor that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The move is a parliamentary procedure that would allow Democrats to bring the bill to the floor without the support of the leadership of the majority party in the House.

The discharge petition requires 218 signatures to be successful, which would mean Democrats would need the signatures of all 200 of their members and an additional 18 Republicans. Only 12 bills since 1967 have come to the floor as a result of a discharge petition. It is highly unlikely that the minimum wage bill will become the 13th bill to do so because even Republicans who support an increase in the federal minimum wage are incredibly unlikely to sign the discharge petition.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced he would not hold a vote on the minimum wage legislation until the Senate returns from their next recess on March 24th - a tacit admission that Democrats continue to lack the votes to pass the bill.