Jayapal, the Congressional Progressive Caucus chairwoman, stated "I have been speaking with Sen. (Bernie) Sanders pretty regularly, with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, with the White House. If Republicans could give a $2 trillion tax break to the wealthiest people and… continue drilling in the Arctic, then I think that Democrats can make sure that 30 million Americans get a raise [through the reconciliation process]."
Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has yet to order whether the minimum wage bill is within the rules of reconciliation.
Jayapal's remarks are the latest indication that progressives plan to work with more centrist members of their party over the minimum wage matter, according to The Hill.
The White House has shown that the provision won’t be added in the ultimate coronavirus relief bill due to parliamentary rules.
It was included in the legislation revealed by the House last week, and if it endures through the Senate parliamentarian's ruling, it could point to a conflict within the Democratic caucus to get sufficient votes to pass the bill without any Republican votes in the Senate.
In addition to increasing the minimum wage, the legislation would further hand out another round of direct payments to singles earning up to $75,000 annually and married couples earning up to $150,000 per year, increase unemployment benefits, and supply billions in assistance to state and local governments to battle the coronavirus.
Meantime, Rep. Jay Obernolte has alarmed his objection regarding the matter.
“This is one of many proposals taken from the "California model," and it has noble intentions – to address income inequality and make sure that no American working 40 hours a week lives below the poverty line.” he said about the $15 federal minimum wage promise.
“Unfortunately, by increasing the federal minimum wage, President Biden is attempting to address the symptom of income inequality rather than the cause, which would ultimately ensure that many Americans in low-income jobs are no longer able to work at all,” he added.
Obernolte went on to explain that “The Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that raising the minimum wage to $15 will cause 1.4 million Americans to lose their jobs in the next several years. That is substantially more than the number of people that would be lifted out of poverty by this well-intentioned but ill-considered policy. For these workers, the real minimum wage will be zero.”
“In California, where a $15 minimum wage is already in place, we are on track to lose 400,000 jobs by 2022, according to the Employment Policies Institute. A federal increase in minimum wage of this size would result in a similar flight of jobs to other countries or the elimination of jobs altogether due to automation.”