Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted the U.S. Senate parliamentarian’s Thursday decision to disallow a minimum wage increase in the latest coronavirus relief bill.
After meeting with and hearing arguments from Senate Democrats and Republicans, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough decided Thursday that a $15 per hour minimum wage hike desired by Democrats couldn’t be included under budget reconciliation to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
“I strongly disagree with tonight’s decision by the Senate Parliamentarian,” Sanders wrote in a Thursday evening tweet that included a statement by the Vermont senator. “But the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour continues.”
I strongly disagree with tonight’s decision by the Senate Parliamentarian. But the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour continues. pic.twitter.com/pGwrYKjOel
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 26, 2021
“I’m confident we have a majority in the United States, including the Vice President that would vote to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan,” the statement read. “Yet because of the archaic and undemocratic rules of the Senate we are unable to move forward to end starvation wages in this country and raise the income of 32 million struggling Americans.”
Sanders proposed a switch in strategy whereby tax deductions would be removed from “large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour” and the creation of “incentives” for small businesses to raise wages.
“In the coming days, I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with incentives they need to raise wages,” the statement continued. “That amendment must be included in this reconciliation bill.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also stressed Thursday that Democrats “are not going to give up the fight” for a $15 minimum wage. (RELATED: ‘They Can Afford It’: Daily Caller Co-Founder Neil Patel Suggests Large Corporations Should Bear The Brunt Of A Minimum Wage Increase)
Any measure not included in the budget reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes, will need 60 senators to break a GOP filibuster. This reality makes more than doubling the minimum wage an unlikely prospect in the near future.