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Pelosi Vows To Include $15 Minimum Wage Hike In Relief Bill Despite Senate Rule Making It Ineligible

Feb 25, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Thursday that Democrats will still hold a vote on a COVID-19 relief bill that includes a provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, even after the Senate parliamentarian announced that the provision can’t pass under the Senate rules.

“The ruling from the Senate parliamentarian is disappointing, because raising the minimum wage would give 27 million Americans a well-deserved raise and pull nearly one million Americans out of poverty in the middle of a once-in-a-century devastating pandemic and economic crisis,” said Pelosi in a statement Thursday evening.

“House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary. Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the floor tomorrow. Democrats in the House are determined to pursue every possible path in the Fight For 15,” she added.

Lawmakers are poised to vote on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, in the Democrat-controlled House on Friday. But Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate parliamentarian, threw a wrench in the Biden administration’s proposal when she informed members of the Senate on Thursday that the $15 minimum wage hike did not square with the rules of the reconciliation process.

Under the reconciliation process, the Senate can pass filibuster-proof legislation with only 51 votes, but the provisions of the legislation must be related to the budget and cannot have a merely incidental effect on it, among many other complicated rules.

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