Politics Former Sanders aide bashes Democrats 'unwilling to hold the line' on $15 wage
$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.
Briahna Joy Gray, former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, said Wednesday it's "damning" that some Democrats are "unwilling to hold the line" to keep the $15 minimum wage in the COVID-19 relief package.
Gray told Hill.TV's "Rising" that the Congressional Progressive Caucus could use the "leverage" of the narrow Democratic majority in the House to push for the $15 minimum wage. She called the lack of that effort from progressives so far "enormously disappointing."
"If 10 or so progressives were willing to withhold their votes, the posture of this conversation would change dramatically," she said.
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.
"If Republicans are willing to say they're not gonna vote for this enormously popular stimulus bill because they think they are giving Americans who are struggling in an unprecedented way too much money, it's really damning when you look at Democrats who are unwilling to hold the line to give Americans support for the help they actually voted for and the help they actually need," Gray added.
Her comments come after the Senate parliamentarian ruled last week that the minimum wage provision could not be included in the $1.9 trillion relief package if Democrats move it forward under special budget rules to prevent a filibuster.
The Senate is slated to vote on the relief package this week after the House approved it over the weekend. Sanders has vowed to force a vote on the minimum wage, essentially daring more moderate Democratic senators to vote against it.
Lindsey Graham Offers 'Waffle House' Plan to Dems Worried About $15 Minimum Wage .
"I don't mind looking at increasing the minimum wage in a responsible way," Graham said. "That will be easier for business and get us to where we want to go."Graham's plan, suggested to him by representatives from the national restaurant chain Waffle House, would index minimum wage increases to inflation. His plan could also soothe Machin's worries that the Democrats' proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would endanger small businesses already harmed by the pandemic's economic downturn.