As Democrats try to include a minimum wage boost in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, division over the issue within their own party could be enough to see it watered down or removed altogether, The Hill reports.
Among Democratic detractors of the move is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-VA), who told the news outlet that he does not support the increase to $15 per hour that his party currently seeks.
Manchin offered similar comments to Fox News, also saying he does not believe the budget reconciliation process Democrats intend to use as a vehicle for its passage will allow for increasing the minimum wage.
Per The Hill, Manchin told Fox:
“The only thing we can do during this reconciliation is anything that comes within the financial realms of what we’re dealing with. It’s called a budget reconciliation, has to be within the budget lines. That does not come within that at all. And it really needs to be debated,” Manchin said.
He added that “anybody that goes to work in the morning and works 40 hours a week and works 50 weeks a year, that’s 2,000 hours, should be above — a family of three — above the poverty guidelines — and that’s not $15.”
The Hil noted that “because of the 50-50 Senate split, proponents need to win over every Senate Democrat” in order to pass the measure in the COVID relief bill.
Further, it remains unclear whether Senate rules will allow for a minimum wage hike to be included in the budget reconciliation.
Democrats still need a determination from the parliamentarian about whether an increase in the minimum wage complies with the arcane rules that determine what can, and cannot, be passed under the reconciliation process to bypass a filibuster.
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