Politics Joe Manchin Defends Minimum Wage Stance of Republicans 'Just Not in Sync With Bernie Sanders'
Senate Democratic moderates push for minimum wage compromise
A Tuesday meeting on the topic is set to include the eight Democratic caucus members who opposed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) $15 hourly wage plan.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will convene a meeting on the topic Tuesday afternoon that includes the eight Democratic caucus members who opposed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) $15 hourly wage plan earlier this month. Several of those members opposed that proposal because it eliminates the tipped wage, a lower minimum wage for restaurant workers and other employees who receive gratuities.
Senator, a West Virginia Democrat, defended opposing raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, saying they are simply opposed to such a substantial increase.
Presidenthave pushed to more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15, but Manchin along with some other moderate and many Republicans have opposed the proposal. Democrats' efforts to include the substantial wage hike in Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan were blocked after the 's parliamentarian ruled that it could not be passed via the budget reconciliation process, which Democrats used to push through the bill without Republican support. Meanwhile, Manchin has suggested the federal minimum wage should be increased to just $11 per hour, while GOP Senators and Tom Cotton have put forward .
Joe Manchin Says Progressives Campaigning Against Him Would Help Him 'More Than Anything'
As the West Virginia senator has called for more bipartisanship on the For the People Act, he does not feel that a more progressive candidate would pose a challenge for him.A New York Times story published Saturday about Manchin's hesitance to do away with the filibuster explains partially why he feels that it's important to allow it to be kept, especially in having Democrats hold onto power in Congress.
"I think that every Republican wants to raise the minimum wage. Everyone's just not in sync withat $15. A lot of the areas already have $15," Manchin told during a Monday evening interview.
"I agree with Joe Biden, when he says, anybody that goes to work every day and works full-time should be above the poverty guidelines. That's where my $11 comes in. This is stuff that we're just not making up, or I'm making up. Basically, I'm talking to people, as professionals who basically look into this," the Democratic senator said.
Manchin and seven other Senate Democrats voted against a proposed amendment to Biden's COVID-19 relief plan last week that would have included the $15 per hour minimum wage despite the parliamentarian's ruling. That amendment was put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, a prominent progressive independent from Vermont. Although the effort was unsuccessful, Sanders and fellow progressives have asserted they will continue to push for the pay increase.
Joe Manchin Responds to West Virginia Governor, Criticizes Major Tax Cut
Republican Governor Jim Justice wants to eliminate personal income taxes in the state over the next few years.Justice complained Monday about a clause in the American Rescue Plan that prevents states from using relief funds to offset revenue losses from tax cuts.
"At the end of the day, the American people want it, overwhelmingly large numbers of people support raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, eight states have already voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Many communities and cities have done the same," Sanders told CNN on Monday. "So we're going to do what the American people want one way or another, we are going to pass the $15 an hour minimum wage."
Newsweek reached out to Sanders' office for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.
While polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour,conducted by Morning Consult and Politico showed that Manchin's suggestion to raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour is more popular. While 60 percent of Americans approve of $15, just over 70 percent support raising wages to $11.
Democrats left scrambling on a $15 minimum wage now that it appears left out of COVID-19 stimulus bill
Thirty-one states have a minimum wage law below $10. No state has a minimum wage at $15 or above, though the District of Columbia does. More: $15 minimum wage would boost pay for millions but would cost 1.
Mitch McConnell Says Joe Manchin 'Almost Single-handedly Is Preserving the Senate' .
The Senate minority leader praised the Democrat for wanting to keep the filibuster in the upper house.Senator Manchin continues to be a barrier to the Democrats' efforts to get rid of the rule that requires 60 votes to pass most legislation, in order to ease the passage of President Joe Biden's agenda.