WASHINGTON — A minimum wage increase not be included in the congressional Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
The measure was removed from the bill late Thursday afternoon after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it could not be included in the massive bill because Democrats are trying to pass the bill under a process that allows for a simple majority.
They say a minimum wage increase doesn’t meet the criteria to be passed in such a way.
Democrats are trying to boost the minimum wage to 15-dollars-an-hour. They can still do that, but such a bill would need Republican support. Republicans like Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, who told Chuck Todd on MSNBC that an increase of the minimum wage to $15/hr is irresponsible.
“If you had the minimum wage to where you differentiated it by the cost of living, differentiated by maybe the type of wage, a training wage, full-time, part-time, then maybe you’d be hitting the mark where you won’t be losing any jobs,” Braun said.
He doubled down on his assertion that an increase to $15/hr would force many small businesses to lay off workers because they would not be able to afford to pay workers $15 an hour.
“It’s not one size fits all,” Braun added. “You throw a one-size-fits-all you’re going to eliminate some businesses and jobs. I’d like it to be a little more thought out, not rushed. It’s a big deal. I believe in raising wages because there is inequality in this country.”
Braun also said the rise and fall of wages should be determined more by the market rather than the government.
The White House says President Biden is disappointed that a minimum wage increase won’t be included in a massive coronavirus relief package. Press Secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will continue working with members of Congress to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Psaki adds that no one should work full time and live in poverty.
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