Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin suggested an $11 per hour minimum wage with future increases indexed to inflation during a Sunday morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Democrats’ push to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour came to a halt last week as the Senate parliamentarian nixed its inclusion in the latest COVID relief bill and an amendment proposed by Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fell with the help of Manchin and several other Democratic senators.
The West Virginia senator, however, told anchor Jake Tapper that every senator wants to ultimately raise the minimum wage above the current rate.
“Let me tell you what needs to be done,” he said. “Joe Biden has said anybody that goes to work — and I believe this with all of my heart — if you go to work every day you should at the end of the day be above the minimum guidelines as far as poverty guidelines. You should be above that. That should be the absolute low base. Well, when you do it and you figure the numbers, well it comes out to $11. That is how I got to 11.”
“We can do that very quickly too, within a couple of years,” Manchin continued. “Once we get to $11 then it should be indexed for inflation so it never becomes a political football again.” (RELATED: Is A $15 Minimum Wage Dead? Not Necessarily)
Responding to criticism from Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the West Virginia senator expressed respect for where she “is coming from,” but told Tapper the “rules of the Senate” made the passage of a $15 minimum wage in the relief bill impossible.