Politics 'Stick together': Schumer pleads for party unity amid wage hike fight

01:09  24 february  2021
01:09  24 february  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

$15 minimum wage debate: Everything you need to know

  $15 minimum wage debate: Everything you need to know House Democrats have included a minimum wage hike in their latest Covid relief bill, although opposition among some Senate Democrats means it is not at all clear they will have the votes to pass it. © Scott Olson/Getty Images Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald's corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Improving worker pay is unrelated in that raising the minimum wage has long been a Democratic priority.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned Senate Democrats, including centrists who are balking at certain elements of President Biden’s proposal, that failure to pass a .9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill would be a political disaster.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday privately urged Democrats to remain united in an effort to pass a massive COVID-19 aid spending bill by a mid-March deadline, despite differences over whether the bill should include a minimum wage hike.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

“He’s begging all of us, despite any differences with any one section of the bill, that we hang together,” Majority Whip Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said after the party’s weekly caucus luncheon. “This is the signature provision of the Biden administration in terms of dealing with the pandemic. And the economy, and we, need to stick together. That's it.”

Democrats plot their Plan B to save minimum wage hike

  Democrats plot their Plan B to save minimum wage hike Notably, some Republicans have backed a wage bump, but with extra strings that would divide Democrats. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced last week that he’ll introduce a bill with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that would raise the minimum wage — although he didn’t specify a number — “while ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants.”Progressives aren’t yet ready to ditch the $15 figure. Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.

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Senate Democrats aren't sure whether they’ll be able to pass a $15 minimum wage mandate that is included in the massive COVID-19 aid spending bill. The provision faces opposition from within their own party and could be ruled out of order by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough.

Schumer and Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders will meet Wednesday with MacDonough to determine whether the mandatory wage hike would violate special rules they hope to use to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid spending bill with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60.

MacDonough may rule to exclude the $15 hourly wage provision because it does not meet the requirements under a process called reconciliation that Senate Democrats plan to employ to stop the GOP from filibustering the bill.

Labor Rights Activists Say Minimum Wage Proposals From Manchin, Romney Aren't Living Wages

  Labor Rights Activists Say Minimum Wage Proposals From Manchin, Romney Aren't Living Wages "The $15 minimum wage itself is a compromise," said Adam Shah, policy director at Jobs With Justice."What we're telling people, if we settle for less, is that rather than having a week in the month where you can't find food, we're saying you'll have three or four days in the month where you can't find food," Adam Shah, policy director at Jobs With Justice, told Newsweek.

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If MacDonough tells Schumer and Sanders the $15 wage provision can stay in the bill, Democrats face another obstacle: Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema aren’t in favor of a mandatory $15 minimum wage, and the party cannot pass the measure unless all 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris vote for it.

Manchin, of West Virginia, has pitched an alternative $11 minimum wage hike, but Democratic leaders are refusing to back his lower number and are holding out for passage of the COVID-19 aid spending bill with the $15 minimum wage mandate intact.

“Bernie Sanders and I are arguing very strongly for $15 and for it to be reconcilable,” Schumer said Tuesday. “We’re going to await [MacDonough’s] judgment before we go any further.”

The House is expected to pass the COVID-19 aid spending package later this week before sending it to the Senate. It would provide a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks and $400 in enhanced jobless pay.

Everything you need to know about the minimum wage debate

  Everything you need to know about the minimum wage debate The last time the federal minimum wage increased was back in 2009, when it rose to $7.25 per hour. Activists have waged a nearly decade-long campaign for an increase to $15 per hour, and President Biden has said he wants to enact that raise into law. “There should be a national minimum wage of $15 an hour,” he said last month. Raising the minimum wage is supported by a majority of Americans, with a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finding 52 percent in favor of raising it to $15 per hour, versus 37 percent in opposition.

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The measure also would raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next four years. Schumer said the Senate must pass the measure before March 14, when the latest round of enhanced federal unemployment benefits expires.

The minimum wage hike has become a major sticking point within the Democratic Party.

Congress last raised the minimum wage in 2009 to $7.25, and many Democrats say a significant increase is long overdue and widely supported by the public.

“We’ve got tens of millions of workers working for starvation wages,” Sanders told reporters in the Capitol. “It is an absolute national disgrace. Fifteen dollars an hour is not a radical idea.”

But Manchin and other Democrats support a smaller increase.

Manchin said he would vote to amend the legislation to increase the minimum wage to $11 over the next two years.

He said businesses in small rural areas like those in West Virginia “would get eviscerated” by a $15-per-hour wage requirement. The $11 requirement could be phased in quickly, Manchin said, and would lift low-wage earners above the poverty level.

Prospects for a $15 federal minimum wage look bleak

  Prospects for a $15 federal minimum wage look bleak But some US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Josh Hawley, are proposing alternatives to raising the wage.Democrats were pushing to include an increase in the federal minimum wage as part of a proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package, but its fate has likely been determined: On Feb. 25, the US Senate’s parliamentarian said that hiking the minimum wage to $15, as the Democrats sought to do, could not be included in the bill, arguing it falls outside the scope of what the Democrats can do in the budget reconciliation process.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined raising the wage to $15 would result in 1.4 million fewer jobs.

“Throwing $15 out there right now just makes it very difficult in rural America,” Manchin told reporters in the Capitol.

Without the support of Manchin and Sinema, the COVID-19 aid spending bill would stall in the Senate. Failure to pass the bill would be a major defeat for President Biden, who sent the spending package to Congress as his No. 1 legislative priority when he took office on Jan. 20.

Biden said earlier this month he does not believe the minimum wage provision will end up in the COVID-19 aid package, even though he included it in the proposal his administration delivered to Congress.

“I put it in, but I don’t think it’s going to survive,” Biden told CBS News.

Biden promised “a separate negotiation” on minimum wage legislation if the provision doesn’t pass with the COVID-19 aid spending bill.

Tags: News, Congress, Joe Biden, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Minimum Wage, Bernie Sanders

Original Author: Susan Ferrechio

Original Location: 'Stick together': Schumer pleads for party unity amid wage hike fight

Joe Manchin's $11 Minimum Wage More Popular Than Biden's $15—Among Democrats and Republicans .
While a majority (60 percent) of voters approve of the increase to $15 per hour, 71 percent support a more modest hike to $11.President Joe Biden and Democrats campaigned on raising the federal minimum wage to $15, and House Democrats included the wage hike in their version of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. However, the wage hike looks unlikely to survive in the Senate's version of the bill, as that chamber's parliamentarian ruled it could not be passed through the budget reconciliation process. Meanwhile, GOP Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas have put forward a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour—close to what Manchin has suggested.

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