Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Minimum wage: “President Obama signed an executive order into action on Wednesday afternoon to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers by 2015. The declaration mandates all federally contracted employees earn at least $10.10 per hour – up from the current $7.25 – beginning next year on Jan. 1.”
* The Senate passed a clean, one-year debt-ceiling increase this afternoon, “after a high-drama cliffhanger that ended when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, voted “aye” to end a filibuster.” The vote on ending the Republican filibuster was 67 to 31; the vote on final passage was 55 to 43.
* The right’s not happy: “Snared in a contentious primary fight, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted on Wednesday to end debate on debt-limit legislation in a move that’s already fueling criticism from conservatives.”
* On a related note, this debt-ceiling fight was hardly the House Republicans’ finest hour, but House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) judgment was especially difficult to understand or defend.
* Fast Track looks like it’s in big trouble: “Progressives and liberal lawmakers who are working hard to block the massive free trade deal being negotiated by the Obama administration have just gotten a big boost from someone they’d been aggressively courting: Nancy Pelosi.”
* Busted: “Former Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans was found guilty on Wednesday of accepting payoffs for city contracts, becoming the first mayor in the city’s history to be charged and convicted of corruption.”
* Military pensions: “The Senate on Wednesday sent legislation to President Obama’s desk that would repeal the controversial $6 billion cut to military pensions. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure in a 95-3 vote, undoing the spending cut that Congress had approved two months prior in the December budget deal.”
* Virginia: “In a rare move, Virginia’s newly Democratic-controlled state Senate voted Tuesday to repeal the forced pre-abortion ultrasound law that drew national headlines (and ridicule) in 2012…. The bill is expected to die in the House of Delegates, which is still controlled by Republicans. But it was a sign that state Democrats are willing to expend political capital and energy on the issue.”
* If only the conspiracy theorists would notice: “In a new report released on Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee concludes that there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night. In doing so, the report debunks entirely a right-wing myth that says the White House ordered the military not to intervene.”
* Republicans in the Missouri legislature can get a little nutty: “Rep. Nick Marshall, R-Parkville, has filed articles of impeachment in the first step toward attempting to remove Gov. Jay Nixon from office. The resolution cites Nixon’s executive order from November, which allows same-sex couples married in other states to file joint state taxes.”
* “I probably shouldn’t ask this” is one of those phrases that Limbaugh should take more seriously: “I probably shouldn’t ask this, but if it’s OK for a man who has sex with other men to be in a shower in an NFL locker room with other men, is it OK for a guy to be in a shower with women?”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.