Minimum wage increase in House bill today despite Senate ruling
The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the proposed increase in the minimum wage doesn’t fit within Senate budget rules, but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said late Thursday it will be in the American Rescue Plan on which the House will vote today, Feb. 26.
“I am deeply disappointed by the ruling that an increase to the minimum wage would be subject to a point of order in the Senate,” Hoyer said in a statement.
“Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour remains a centerpiece of House Democrats’ economic plan and would provide a major boost in income to 27 million Americans while lifting nearly a million out of poverty.
“House Democrats will move forward with consideration of the American Rescue Plan tomorrow, and it will include our provision to raise the minimum wage. We must ensure that American jobs provide workers with incomes that can enable them to access opportunities and attain economic security.”
The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the proposal to include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour cannot be included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan bill because it does not comply with the Byrd rule that determines what can be included in a budget reconciliation bill.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the most vigorous proponent of the proposal expressed disappointment, but added, “I’m confident that we have a majority in the United States Senate including the vice president that would vote to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.”
“Yet because of the archaic and undemocratic rules of the Senate we are unable to move forward to end starvation wages in this country and raise the income of 32 million struggling Americans,” Sanders said. “That fight continues.”
“In the coming days, I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages. That amendment must be included in this reconciliation bill.”
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary added, “President Biden is disappointed in this outcome, as he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the American Rescue Plan.”
“He respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate’s process. He will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty. He urges Congress to move quickly to pass the American Rescue Plan, which includes $1,400 rescue checks for most Americans, funding to get this virus under control, aid to get our schools reopened and desperately needed help for the people who have been hardest hit by this crisis.”
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