On Monday, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called on Vice President Kamala Harris to overturn a decision by parliamentarians that reconciliation cannot be used to raise the $ 15 minimum wage in President Joe Biden’s incentive relief package. $ 9 trillion.
Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, refused to give up the $ 15 minimum wage after Senate MP Elizabeth McDonough decided the measure did not meet the requirements of a budget process called reconciliation.
MacDonough’s decision could be overturned by Harris, but Democratic leaders said Monday they would likely cut wage increases to pass the quickly-stretched bill.
“My personal opinion is that the idea that we have a Senate official, a high-ranking official who decides whether 30 million Americans will be paid or not, is meaningless,”
He added: “Given the enormous crises facing this country and the despair of working families, we must end the filibuster as soon as possible. We cannot have a minority of members who determine what the American people want.”
The House of Representatives passed the relief bill largely on a party basis with 219-212 votes on Friday. The aid measure is now moving to the Senate, where the $ 15 minimum wage is expected to be amended. Once the amendments are passed in the upper house, the bill will be returned to the House for a final vote.
Sanders promised to force a vote in the upper house to set support for the $ 15 minimum wage later this week. “As far as I know, the minimum wage will be voted on and we will see what happens,” he said. “I intend to propose a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and see how the votes go.”
Warren joined Sanders, urging Democrats to ignore the parliamentarian’s decision. “I agree,” she said.
Following MacDonough’s decision last week, progressives said Democrats could lose support if they could not find a way to include wage increases. “I don’t think we can go back to the voters and say, ‘Look, I know Republicans, Democrats, independents support that; we promised it, but because of an unelected parliamentarian who gave us a decision, we could not do it, “said Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who chairs the Progressive Council of Congress.
Newsweek turned to the office of Vice President Kamala Harris for further comments.