The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, has effectively killed the chances of the Democrats to push through the $15 an hour minimum wage proposal set forth by President Joe Biden. The new minimum wage provision is part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package being pushed by the Democrats. However, the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that this specific part of the bill needs to be taken out because it violates budget rules.
Next Steps for Democrats
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that the Democrat-controlled House will still vote on the increase to the minimum wage. While it cannot be included in the official legislation, the voting forces Republicans to go on record opposing the wage hike.
Although Vice President Kamala Harris could technically override the decision of the parliamentarian, it is not believed that she will exercise that option. Doing so would send the message that Democrats are not looking to play by the rules. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was clear that his party is disappointed in the parliamentarian’s decision, confirming that Democrats will not give up in the battle to increase the minimum wage.
Party Radicals Speaking Out
Despite Pelosi and Schumer indicating that they will not flex their slim majority to overrule MacDonough’s decision to strike down the wage hike, some of the more radical factions of the Democratic Party are urging Harris to use her power to her full ability.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Rep. Ro Khanna of California both tweeted that Harris should overrule the decision of the parliamentarian and push forward with including the proposed wage hike in the COVID-19 relief package.