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K Street Files: Both Sides Rev Up for Wage War

Calls to increase the minimum wage by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have triggered pre-emptive action on both sides of the debate.

Employment Policies Institute
ran a print ad campaign last week and has run sponsorships on NPR this week to promote its message that a minimum wage increase will destroy jobs.

Regardless of whether a minimum wage increase clears the 113th Congress, it is sure to emerge as an election issue that could prove tricky for Republicans, said Michael Saltsman, research director for the Employment Policies Institute. The fiscally conservative group has been working with economic experts to publicize research linking minimum wage increases with job losses.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., announced their support this week for increasing the hourly minimum wage to $10.10, and congressional hearings may follow. The lawmakers last year introduced bills that would have incrementally raised the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour.

The Service Employees International Union immediately called on the House and the Senate to support the plan. In his State of the Union address, Obama called for a minimum wage increase to $9 by the end of 2015.

Venn Diagram

Tim Carey, former legislative director for Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., is joining Venn Strategies as vice president.

Carey also previously worked for Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., as deputy legislative director. For both members, Carey focused on financial services, tax and trade policy, among other matters.

“Tim is an extremely valuable addition to our growing tax and financial services practice group, which expands as the demands of the current policy environment grow,” Venn CEO and founder Stephanie Silverman said in a statement announcing the hire.

In addition to Carey, Venn also brought on Alex Ford, a former aide to then-Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., as an associate.

Trading Places

The National Foreign Trade Council has announced that James Wilkinson will be the association’s vice president for strategy and growth, starting April 15. Wilkinson has been executive director of the Washington International Trade Association since 2003.

“Given his extensive background in international trade, we know that James will be an asset as we advocate policies to maximize U.S. economic growth and job creation through increased engagement in the global economy,” NFTC President Bill Reinsch said in a statement.

Kate Ackley contributed to this report. Please send tips to

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