White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that President Joe Biden still “stands” for a $15 minimum wage.
With only 42 senators voting Friday to support Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal to include the increase in the COVID relief bill, Democrats’ efforts to more than double the federal $7.25 minimum wage has at least temporarily ground to a halt.
“It now seems clear you will need 60 votes if you want to raise the federal minimum wage in the Senate,” anchor Jake Tapper told Bedingfield on Sunday. “That means you’ll need to win over at least 10 Republicans, not to mention [Democratic West Virginia Sen.] Joe Manchin.”
Tapper referred to Manchin’s suggestion of $11 per hour as well as some GOP support for an increase to $10 before asking Bedingfield if Biden would sign such a compromise.
“President Biden supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Bedingfield said. “That is where he stands. That’s where he’s stood for a long time. He believes strongly that that is the level at which people in this country who are working full time can make a living wage and not be living in poverty and he believes that’s a fundamental matter of values. He doesn’t believe anyone in this country should work full time and be living in poverty.”
The White House communications director told Tapper there are “currently no active discussions” about a minimum wage compromise. (RELATED: ‘Recipe For More Shuttered Businesses’: Small Businesses Speak Out Against Minimum Wage Hike)
“These are details that are gonna get worked out,” she said, predicting a turn in conversation from COVID relief to raising the minimum wage.