Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to get around it by stripping “tax benefits from large profitable companies that don’t pay their workers $15 an hour.”
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled the Democrats cannot include the $15 minimum wage hike in the COVID-19 relief bill under budget reconciliation.
Reconciliation allows the Senate to push through budget legislation and prevent usage of the filibuster.
But the Byrd Rule, named after Sen. Robert Byrd, can stop that from happening. It “allows senators to block provisions of reconciliation bills that are ‘extraneous’ to reconciliation’s basic purpose of implementing budget changes.”
The Democrats and Republicans argued their cases. From Politico:
Democrats for weeks have argued that the minimum wage hike could be included in the package through the so-called reconciliation process, citing analysis from the Congressional Budget Office that found the boost would increase the deficit by reducing reliance on social services. But Republicans highlight that the same report suggests the increase would result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs and say it’s an extraneous provision.
The parliamentarian’s ruling means that any senator could raise a point order against the minimum wage increase, which would force the provision to be axed from the bill.
MacDonough decided that the Byrd Rule applies.
This means the bill cannot include the language. If it does then it needs 60 votes to pass.
The decision puts the House Democrats in a bind:
House Democrats could still pass the minimum wage hike on their version of the Covid bill on Friday, but the Senate decision means the party needs to find an alternative route to increasing the minimum wage, a key campaign promise. And the Senate lacks the votes to change the filibuster or overrule the parliamentarian’s decision.
“We will continue to explore all legislative options for raising workers’ wages as we push forward on the relief package, which must be signed into law ahead of the March 14 cliff for jobless benefits,” said Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to get around it by stripping “tax benefits from large profitable companies that don’t pay their workers $15 an hour.”DONATE
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