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Senate Parliamentarian Kicks $15 Minimum Wage Out of COVID-19 Relief Bill

Senate Parliamentarian Kicks $15 Minimum Wage Out of COVID-19 Relief Bill

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.”

https://youtu.be/bEJrbEP-GtY

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.”

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Comments

Sounds like Sanders owns stock in some tax accounting and auditing firms.

If they go with his plan, there will suddenly be a huge fuss over how you define pay rates. Is that $15 on average? Or is ANY worker paid at that rate enough to cause problems. Does it apply to part time workers? Interns?

This is the stuff that makes bureaucracies and the lawyers who deal with them grow fat. And the Socialist Paradise somehow never quite comes to pass.

JusticeDelivered | February 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

There is not a shortage of employees who are worth less than $5 an hour. Many are lazy, too dumb, bad attitudes, poor hygiene, etc.

In any event, they raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, watch how fast food become highly automated.

Did you wonder why Wal Mart and other stores now have one or two people on the checkout registers where they used to have six or more? It’s because they had to lay off or cut the hours of part of their work force to pay the remaining ones that $15 an hour. That also explains why they have those #%&@$^! self checkouts.

And somehow it’s the store’s fault.
.

    SeiteiSouther in reply to DSHornet. | February 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    The Walmart Neighborhood market just recently took out the cashier lanes and made EVERYTHING self service.

    Hooray, I’m an unpaid employee of Wal Mart. But, hey, at least I’m faster than a cashier.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to SeiteiSouther. | February 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      And don’t expect that trend to end anytime soon. The company that I work for has plans to replace every front-end register with self-service registers by the end of this year or the next. Of course, that means a whole lot of part-time cashiers are also going to be losing their jobs. But that’s the whole point of converting over, to reduce payroll to almost nothing and book the “savings” to the bottom line as profit.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | February 26, 2021 at 10:45 am

I had a chat with the teenage daughter of a neighbor. She is a waitress at a local restaurant (surprisingly there are some restaurants that are open). She asked what would happen if the minimum wage increased. She is excited that she can go from the minimum server’s wage to $15.

I told her the first thing that would disappear is tips, which comes from the customer, not the employer. In order to pay $15 to the waitress, dishwasher, bus boy, and all other employees at less than $15, the owner would have to increase prices. If I pay $70 for a decent meal for my wife and I, we would generously leave $15 to $20 as a tip if service was good.

If that $70 meal now goes to $100, just to pay a server $15 per hour, I would no longer give a tip, because the meal would not be worth $120 with tip. Or we would no longer go to the restaurant to eat.

Pushing back on Common Core math, I also explained that if she worked 6 tables in an hour, and got $10 from each table, she made $60 per hour, not counting her base wage of $3 and some change. She would quickly go from $60 per hour to $15 per hour.

If she still has a job.

    Except where they are forced to pool tips — a great exercise in Communism 101 — and the hard workers lose their tips to subsidize the lackadaisical ones. And can’t dare complain about it, because rayciss white check your privilege nazi supremacy you’re fired.

    I totally agree with your argument except on one point, and I’m telling you this so you can refine your point. 6 tables in an hour, at $10 dollars each tip, DOES equal $60…but she is required to divide that $60 up with other servers, bussers, etc. As are the other servers required to do the same. You hope they all work as hard as your friends daughter does.
    Just sayin.

    one of the restaurants in the area did away with tips, prices rose and service went way down, don’t think the restaurant went out of business.

Lucifer Morningstar | February 26, 2021 at 11:09 am

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.”

So basically everything in the “Covid Relief Bill” that doesn’t actually relate to Covid Relief can be ruled “extraneous” (eg. money to Kennedy Center etc.) and can be removed from the bill during the reconciliation process.

But I doubt the Senate republicans have the balls to push for that to happen.

    It always falls back to the good old boys(and girls using the “ I will scratch your back if you scratch mine “ bit. The Republicans want to keep Reconciliation alive for them to use for their pork.

    So basically everything in the “Covid Relief Bill” that doesn’t actually relate to Covid Relief can be ruled “extraneous” (eg. money to Kennedy Center etc.) and can be removed from the bill during the reconciliation process.

    No.

    First of all, it is not a “Wuhan Relief Bill”, it’s the Consolidated Appropriation bill. “Wuhan relief” was put into that. That’s why of course it contains so many things that have nothing to do with the Wuhan Disease; it’s supposed to.

    Second, if it were a separate “Wuhan Relief Bill” it would not be subject to the budget reconciliation process in the first place, so the whole issue would not come up. It could be filibustered like any other bill. Only budget bills can be forced through with reconciliation; and that’s why the Byrd Rule says they can’t contain anything that isn’t genuinely related to the budget.

Any job that is dependent on tips is going to be dramatically impacted by this bill. Waiters and Waitresses along with Skycaps,Doormen and Parking Valets comes to mind. This bill is more about appeasing the unions leadership. When you lift the bottom employees pay every other layer upstream is equally benefitted. With each increase in pay, comes an increase in dues. It’s all a dirty scheme that only hurts the guy doing the work.

one thing i never hear mentioned is @15 per hour the other thing that goes up is the payroll tax. so who really benefits from this? the government. the payroll tax is regressive and fixed.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to kent. | February 26, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Baloney. As payroll expenses rise the number of employees will decrease. And therefore payroll taxes will not increase but remain generally level or decrease as more and more automation is brought into play and fewer employees are employed. (No matter what happens, unemployment is guaranteed to increase under a $15/hr minimum wage)

      Kent is correct. This is what politicians expect to happen and this is what motivates them.

      However, you are also correct. This is what will actually happen. Politicians’ reaction will be to tax the automation.

      It reminds of the states that have awarded people who bought electrically-powered cars, and now discover a shortfall in revenue from gasoline taxes. It’s the law of unintended consequences in operation. Politicians rarely see these coming, because they are ideologues, not businessmen.

Progressive costs or progressive prices? Labor and environmental arbitrage? Single/central/monopolistic or market controls? Immigration reform or unPlanned Parenthood? It matters.

Given something like half of all states have a minimum wage half what Democrats are pushing – with some Democrats wanting to raise the minimum to $23hour, this seems less like a bid to raise average income, and more like a bid to destroy the economies of most states. Add in jobs lost in the name of climate change, the economic devastation should the inequality act pass, and assorted other executive decrees and America is in for a world of hurt.

    henrybowman in reply to George_Kaplan. | February 27, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Well, it’s not as if we all didn’t already understand that to Democrats, the American economy is just a giant, heated pool for all of them to play “Cannonball” in.

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