Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee have a team of lawyers trying to get the $15/hour minimum wage increase into the stimulus reconciliation rules.
Video of Sen. Sanders:
Sen. Bernie Sanders says his Budget Committee has a roomful of lawyers arguing to the parliamentarian that the minimum wage increase to $15/hour belongs in the reconciliation rules for the stimulus bill. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/9edzwhS9CJ
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 7, 2021
Sen. Sanders said on CNN’s State Of The Union, “The president supports a $15 an hour minimum wage. I do. The last poll I saw has 62% of the American people supporting it. Because at the end of the day, we are in the midst of massive income, wealth and equality. People on top are doing phenomenally well, and yet we have literally tens of millions of Americans working for starvation wages. You cannot make it in any state in this country on $9 or $10 an hour. We have to raise that minimum wage to $15 an hour. I can tell you as chairman of the budget committee, we have a roomful of lawyers working as hard as we can to make the case to the parliamentarian that, in fact, raising the minimum wage will have significant budget implications and, in fact, should be consistent with reconciliation rules.”
Sanders explained that before Democrats can get to the point in the process where Vice President Harris could overrule the parliamentarian, he needs 50 votes in support of the increase, and to get past the parliamentary hurdles first.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) wants a smaller increase to $11/hour, so the logical compromise would be $13/hour.
The minimum wage has not been increased since 2009. A CBO study found that 27 million workers would be lifted out of poverty with a $15/hour wage.
The same study found that 0.8% of workers would lose their jobs under a $15/hour minimum wage. Those job losses would easily be made up for with a growing economy, as the US economy is expected to do under the Biden stimulus.
Even a smaller minimum wage increase would lift tens of millions of workers out of poverty.
If Democrats can get past the parliamentarian, the minimum wage will be increasing for millions of workers.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association