“The ruling from the Senate parliamentarian is disappointing, because raising the minimum wage would give 27 million Americans a well-deserved raise and pull nearly one million Americans out of poverty in the middle of a once-in-a-century devastating pandemic and economic crisis,” Pelosi stated Thursday.
“House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary. Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the Floor tomorrow. Democrats in the House are determined to pursue every possible path in the Fight For 15.”
The House intends on voting for the relief package, which mainly draws from a suggestion President Joe Biden issued before entering office, on Friday.
Elizabeth MacDonough, the main Senate parliamentarian, announced the minimum wage couldn’t be part of the package because Democrats are using a budget process recognized as reconciliation to ram through the bill since virtually all Republicans reject it. The process permits Democrats to pass the package in the Senate with a simple majority, bypassing the typical 60-vote threshold.
Republicans stressed that Congress has passed five relief packages in the past year on a bipartisan basis and claim that the $1.9 trillion package covers a number of measures not even related to the pandemic, among them, the wage raise. They encouraged MacDonough’s ruling.
“Workers and small businesses face devastating days ahead if a radical $15 federal minimum wage is enacted, hurting most the people Democrats claim it will help. This radical provision will destroy millions of jobs while Americans are desperate to reenter the workforce, redistribute—not reduce—poverty, and significantly increase costs for families at a time when many are forced to tighten their belts,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, stated.
“Now that the Senate Parliamentarian has stopped Democrats’ unprecedented efforts, it’s time for House Democrats to do away with this partisan scheme and start working across the aisle to deliver meaningful, bipartisan relief to the American people.”
Some Democrats said that MacDonough’s ruling wasn’t necessary and explained that Vice President Kamala Harris, as president of the Senate, has to overrule her.
“I’m sorry—an unelected parliamentarian does not get to deprive 32 million Americans the raise they deserve. This is an advisory, not a ruling. VP Harris needs to disregard and rule a $15 minimum wage in order. We were elected to deliver for the people. It’s time we do our job,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote in a Twitter post.
“The White House and Senate leadership can and should still include the minimum wage increase in the bill. We can’t allow the advisory opinion of the unelected parliamentarian to stand in the way,” added Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Calif.).