Combat for $15: Wage hike probably blocked from Biden’s COVID reduction | Enterprise and Economic system Information

The Senate Arbitrator believes that a swift process to pass signature laws will preclude the wage increase.

A provision that would increase the United States’ minimum wage under President Joe Biden’s proposed COVID-19 relief legislation by $ 1.9 trillion was likely fatally hit.

Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate MP and the impartial arbiter of its rules, noted that a process the Democrats are underway to expedite the passage of the bill by simple majority in the House precludes measure that will gradually increase the federal minimum wage would be $ 15 an hour through 2025, well above the 2009 minimum of $ 7.25.

The wage increase has long been a legislative goal among US progressives, but its inclusion in Biden’s legislation had generated criticism within the party.

The president had campaigned for a strong response to the pandemic, which he believes is a top priority for his administration. To date, over 28 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus, with over 508,000 deaths.

On Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was “disappointed” with MacDonough’s determination.

“[Biden] I will work with the leaders of Congress to find the best way forward as no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty, ”said Psaki.

The Senate has a long tradition of obeying the decisions of parliamentarians with a few exceptions. This story is revered by traditionalists like Biden, a 36-year-old Senate veteran. MacDonough’s decision would also likely give Republicans a reason to block the Democrats’ attempt to pass the bill by simple majority if they do not remove the provision from legislation.

We disagree with the Senate MP’s recommendation on the $ 15 minimum wage. White House and Senate leadership can and should continue to add the $ 15 minimum wage increase to the pandemic relief package.

– Progressive Caucus (@USProgressives) February 26, 2021

Still, some progressives, including Pramila Jayapal, who heads the nearly 100-member Progressive Caucus of Congress, have said that Senate Democrats should continue to include the wage increase in the relief bill.

Jayapal said Thursday that the chamber should not be stopped by “the advisory opinion of parliamentary and republican obstructionism”.

Democrats currently control 50 seats in the 100-member chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the decisive vote and leaving little room for disagreement within the party.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Democrats “will not give up the fight” to raise the minimum wage to $ 15.

The increase could be introduced as a stand-alone bill or incorporated into future legislation. The determination of the 60 votes required for the adoption should, however, represent an almost insurmountable hurdle.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican senior woman on the Senate Budgets Committee, welcomed MacDonough’s decision, saying it demonstrated the particular process that Democrats use to protect the Aid Act “cannot be used as a vehicle for passing major legislative changes are – by both parties – with a simple majority ”.

The MP’s decision became known the night before the Democrats in the House of Representatives were to enforce a first version of the auxiliary laws, which still included raising the minimum wage.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said: “House Democrats believe that the minimum wage increase is necessary. Therefore this provision will remain. “

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