Progressive Caucus Chair: Minimum Wage Will Be Included in Relief Bill

Progressive Caucus Chair: Minimum Wage Will Be Included in Relief Bill

The Senate parliamentarian will permit a provision that would boost the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour to remain in the upcoming coronavirus relief package, Rep. Pramila Jayapal told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Jayapal, the Congressional Progressive Caucus chairwoman, said “I have been speaking with Sen. (Bernie) Sanders pretty regularly, with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, with the White House. If Republicans could give a $2 trillion tax break to the wealthiest people and… continue drilling in the Arctic, then I think that Democrats can make sure that 30 million Americans get a raise [through the reconciliation process].”

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has yet to rule whether the minimum wage measure is within the rules of reconciliation.

Jayapal’s comments are the latest indication that progressives plan to battle with more centrist members of their party over the minimum wage issue, according to The Hill.

The White House has indicated that the provision won’t be included in the final coronavirus relief bill due to parliamentary rules.

It was included in the legislation unveiled by the House last week, and if it survives the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling, it could lead to a struggle within the Democratic caucus to get enough votes to pass the bill without any Republican votes in the Senate.

In addition to raising the minimum wage, the legislation would also hand out another round of direct payments to singes earning up to $75,000 annually and married couples making up to $150,000 per year,  extend unemployment benefits, and furnish billions in aid to state and local governments to battle the coronavirus.

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