Democrats Transfer to Salvage Minimal Wage Hike

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Raising the minimum wage “is a value, this is a priority and we will get there, but let us not be distracted by what is going on in this legislation,” said Ms Pelosi. “This is a spectacular law. While the Senate temporarily prevented us from getting any aspect of it off, let’s not be distracted by what’s in here because it’s a great bill. “

In the Senate, the Democrats tried to save their offer to push through the sharp hike in the federal minimum wage without sinking the much-needed pandemic relief package. However, efforts face great difficulties in the evenly divided chamber where Republicans and some centrist Democrats oppose the idea of ​​more than doubling the minimum wage under the stimulus plan.

Following the Senate official’s decision, New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer and majority leader and other top Democrats on Friday were considering a plan that would penalize companies that pay workers less than $ 15 an hour, a senior Democratic adviser said.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the finance committee, said the still-evolving proposal would impose an escalating tax on large corporations’ payroll, starting at 5 percent if any of the company’s employees earn less than a certain hourly wage . This includes what Mr. Wyden calls “safeguards” to prevent companies from laying off workers and replacing them with contract workers to avoid the tax.

Updated

Apr. 26, 2021, 11:02 p.m. ET

“As the talks continue, I believe that this ‘Plan B’ offers us a way to move forward and achieve this through the reconciliation process,” said Wyden in a statement.

Democrats are using the reconciliation process to expedite Mr Biden’s stimulus plan and avoid obstruction for Republicans. On Thursday, Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough told Senators that her legislation to gradually increase the minimum wage to $ 15 by 2025 violates the strict rules that limit the possibility of reconciliation. The ruling opened the door for Republicans to demand that the proposal be removed from the stimulus package before the Senate.

It has sparked outrage among progressive activists, calling on Democratic leaders to dismiss or overrule Ms. MacDonough, and calling for the filibuster to be eliminated so Democrats can enact the wage increase and other priorities to Republican objections.