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The Democrats' Plan to Pass $15 Minimum Wage Was Just Crushed

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A Democratic plan in which a federal hike in the minimum wage would creep through Congress on little cat feet has met its match.

Congressional Democrats are using a process called reconciliation to pass a coronavirus relief bill. That process, which allows for a simple majority vote on the bill in the Senate,  allows Democrats to ignore Republican efforts to craft a compromise bill.

The tactic also comes with some rather arcane rules, and on Thursday, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 violated those rules, according to The Hill.

Should the minimum wage be raised?

“Very pleased the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that a minimum wage increase is an inappropriate policy change in reconciliation,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Democrat-dominated House will go ahead and pass the bill with the minimum wage hike still in it, even though it will be stripped in the Senate.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is insisting that the rules should not apply to this piece of progressives’ legislative agenda, according to Fox News.

“We cannot allow the advisory opinion of an unelected parliamentarian and Republican obstructionism stop us from delivering on our promise to voters,” the caucus tweeted Thursday night. “Workers are counting on us to #FightFor15 and finally #RaiseTheWage for millions.”

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who chairs the Progressive Caucus, said in her judgment that the parliamentarian was wrong.

“The White House and Senate leadership can and should still include the minimum wage increase in the bill,” Jayapal said in a statement. “We simply cannot go back … to the voters who delivered us the White House and the Senate majority and tell them that an unelected parliamentarian advised us — based on arcane rules — that we could not raise the minimum wage as we promised.”

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In strict legislative theory, Vice President Kamala Harris — as president of the Senate — might be able to override MacDonough. The White House has said that won’t happen.

“President Biden is disappointed in this outcome, as he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the American Rescue Plan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “He respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate’s process.”

Even if the parliamentarian kept the wage increase in the bill, there was little assurance it would pass in the Senate.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona have both indicated they would not support the $15 wage hike proposal.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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