Mar 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sanders pushes to have $15 minimum wage included in COVID relief bill

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill examining wages at large profitable corporations February 25, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Bernie Sanders during a February hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Monday he plans to offer an amendment to the COVID relief bill this week that aims to see the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour.

Why it matters: Sanders' pledge comes four days after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour can't be included under a reconciliation vote in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Reconciliation requires only a simple 51-vote majority, rather than the usual 60 votes to pass major legislation.

  • Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said Monday progressives' calls to overrule the parliamentarian wouldn't work and they needed to "think very seriously about dealing with the minimum wage in a different venue," per the Hill.

What he's saying: Sanders said in a Twitter post he thinks the Senate should ignore the parliamentarian’s advice, which he said was "wrong in a number of respects," but conceded that he wasn't sure that his view "is the majority view in the Democratic Caucus."

  • "Obviously, as soon as we can, we must end the filibuster that currently exists in the U.S. Senate," he added.
  • "Given the enormous crises facing working families today, we cannot allow a minority of the Senate to obstruct what the vast majority of the American people want and need."
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