The White House said on Friday that President Joe Biden remains “committed” to raising the minimum wage to $15, despite a recent block in the Senate.
The Independent reported that Brian Deese, the White House National Economic Council director, told MSNBC: “We’re going to consult with our congressional allies … congressional leadership today to talk about a path forward on how we can make progress urgently on what is an urgent issue.”
MSNBC’s Will Geist then asked if the president was still “committed” to passing the minimum wage increase through the American Rescue Plan – which was created to address the current Covid-19 crisis – despite the Senate parliamentarian ruling on Thursday that said the $15 increase violated the reconciliation process.
“Absolutely,” Mr Deese responded. “The president has campaigned on the $15 minimum wage, he believes in the $15 minimum wage, he’s committed to getting it done.”
The path to passing the $1.9tn American Rescue Plan with the increased minimum wage to $15 grew more difficult following a ruling by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth McDonough on Thursday. She ruled that the wage increase violated the strict guidelines for reconciliation, which was how Senate Democrats intended to pass the stimulus package.
According to the report, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has indicated that Democrats will look for a backdoor to pass the minimum wage increase.
Sanders proposed that Democrats pass “an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages.”
Several Democratic senators indicated they would support a proposal similar to what Mr Sanders suggested, including Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.
“I’m looking at a tax penalty for mega-corporations that refuse to pay a living wage,” Mr Wyden said.
Image credit: Screengrab / The Independent / YouTube