Democrats in standoff over $15 minimum wage
By Jordain Carney - 02/23/21 06:09 PM EST
Congressional Democrats are digging in for a fight over raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill they want to pass in a matter of weeks.
The fight could escalate as soon as Wednesday, the earliest the Senate parliamentarian is expected to make a determination on whether the proposal can be included in the relief legislation under special budgetary rules planned for the package.
If itâ€™s allowed, it would be a big win for Democrats, but one that would only tee up a larger battle within the party about how much to increase the minimum wage and how to structure it. With thin margins in both chambers, Democrats canâ€™t afford to alienate either progressives or moderates.
â€œEven if it can be included, then the question is, are Democrats uniformly supportive?â€ said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), adding that while he was supportive, â€œthere are some other Democrats whoâ€™ve raised some concerns.â€
Neither side is showing sides of caving, setting up a high-stakes game of chicken that could imperil more help for schools, states, small businesses and American families.