From NBC's Mike Viqueira -- Updated 3:02 pm ET
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she will look into an alleged loophole in the just-passed minimum wage bill that critics say gives a break to a business based in her district.
The issue centers around StarKist, which employs a significant percentage of citizens of American Samoa and is owned by San Francisco-based Del Monte Corporation. Republicans point out that the minimum wage bill - passed Wednesday as part of the Democratic "100 Hours" initiative - does not apply to American Samoa. Republicans have seized on this fact, alleging that Pelosi has "earmarked" the bill to protect a hometown company from having to raise the pay of its employees. They point to the fact that the Marianas Islands, another US territory, is subject to the wage hike.
At a photo-op today, Pelosi says that she has asked a congressional committee to make sure that they go back and make sure that all territories are treated equally. In the meantime, Democrats say this is all politically driven nonsense. They point out that Samoans are US Nationals whereas CNMI (Marianas) residents are U.S. Citizens; Samoa falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act, CNMI does not; and Del Monte bought StarKist in 2003. The first Democratic minimum wage bill was introduced in 1999 and was written the same way and that Pelosi had no input on this particular matter.