Recently, the House passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. The bill contains an absolutely obscene amount of pork.
There is $200 billion set aside for public schools—even if they don’t reopen—$50 billion dedicated to vaccination and COVID testing, and so much more.
But one major thing off the Democratic wish list that was conspicuously absent from the bill was a federal minimum wage hike up to $15 per hour.
Dismayed that they can’t lay waste to any more businesses and compromise general economic growth, Democrats have tried to find ways to get around this fact and punish corporations for refusing to pay workers at least $15 per hour.
Some of the ideas they came up with to do this have been unbelievably crazy and destructive.
Democrats Try to Penalize Corporations
Starting on Friday, February 26, reports began appearing that Democrats were eyeing ways to punish corporations who paid any of their workers less than $15 per hour. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is reportedly at the forefront of this effort.
Consider the insanity of this: Democrats are trying to punish people for not obeying a law that those same Democrats failed to get passed. If you can be punished for not obeying things that are not even laws, one wonders what the point even is of having laws to begin with. At that point, wouldn’t it be more honest to admit that people live under arbitrary despotism?
The original plan by these Democrats, it appears, was to try and craft legal language that would allow them to describe the “penalties” they wish to inflict as “taxes.”
This would allow them to add their desired amendments to the bill under a process known as reconciliation. This would allow the bill to be passed with the minimum wage amendment via a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.
Reportedly, these attempts have failed.
The Senate parliamentarian, the official who helps the Senate interpret its own legislative and budgetary rules and authority, said that the provision could not be passed under reconciliation.
Despite this, House Democrats have written a letter calling on Vice President Kamala Harris to overrule the parliamentarian and include the provision in the version of the bill that the Senate will be debating.
Of course, this issue is purely an activist one.
It is pursued for its emotional resonance, not its wisdom or effectiveness. It is dangerously foolish to raise labor costs on businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat through COVID lockdowns. Two Democrats, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have already gone on record opposing a $15 minimum wage, anyway.
Still, the fools press on.