Senate GOP rally against $15 minimum wage in final relief package

Lawrence Kim
Февраля 26, 2021

The overall relief bill is Biden's first legislative priority. It is aimed at combating a year-old pandemic that's stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children.

That suggests Democrats could well lack the strength they need for it to survive.

Khanna made the remarks in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics", in response to a question about how hard it might be for many small businesses to afford increased labor costs, if the federal minimum wage is raised to $15 an hour. However, once the bill reaches the Senate, the minimum wage language will have to be removed unless the Democrats can come up with an alternative plan.

While Vice President Kamala Harris has the authority to overrule the parliamentarian should she rule against the minimum wage increase, the White House has signaled that Harris would not be willing to take such a step. "No one should work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty wage and you're making less than $15 an hour, you're living below the poverty wage". With almost two years before the midterm elections, it is unclear how much credit Democrats will get for one bill, but Republicans can blame them for not being focused on what matters most and for not acting in a bipartisan manner. They won't have the same kind of savings as someone who is making more than minimum wage.

He also said they would provide incentives to small businesses so that they can raise wages.

House Democrats on Friday unveiled their full stimulus bill, which is expected to move through the House Budget Committee and to a House floor vote this week, and Senate Democrats are preparing to tackle the bill with the narrowest of majorities.

"I'm prepared as the president of the United States on a separate negotiation on minimum wage to work my way up from what it is now", Biden told CBS News earlier this month.

Imagine if someone being paid the minimum wage of $7.25 gets COVID-19.

The Associated Press reported that Democrats have a 10-vote edge in the House and are tied in the Senate 50-50.

Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were hoping that House approval of the package would be followed by passage in the Senate, where changes seem likely. The legislation is co-sponsored by several Democrats.

While Democrats had pushed for the increase to be included, its removal may actually make it easier to pass the bill, senior Democratic sources believe, because it'll avoid a messy fight over whether to strip it out of the bill and whether to compromise. But they'd still face the challenge of garnering 60 Senate votes, a hurdle that has upended Democratic attempts to boost the minimum wage for over a decade.

Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, and Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, have introduced legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour starting July 1; $12.50 an hour starting July 1, 2022; $13 an hour starting July 1, 2023; $13.50 on July 1, 2024; $14 an hour starting July 1, 2025; and finally reaching $15 an hour starting July 1, 2027.

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