Senate Democrats Suggest Moving Forward on CCP Virus Relief Bill Without Minimum Wage Hike

March 1, 2021 Updated: March 2, 2021

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the administration is not planning to overrule the parliamentarian on adding a raise to the minimum wage to the CCP virus relief bill.

“That’s not an action we intend to take,” Psaki said.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled last Thursday that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour cannot be included in the Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus stimulus package under the budget reconciliation process.

Psaki also said that the Biden administration currently doesn’t have a clear alternative plan on how to raise the minimum wage.

“We don’t have a clear answer on what that looks like at this point, it just remains a commitment and something he will use his political capital to get done.”

Dick Durbin
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 10, 2020. (Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images)

Democrats in the House and Senate sought to fast track Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package by passing a budget resolution to start the reconciliation process that would allow the bill to move forward by simple majority votes, instead of needing 60 votes threshold to break any possible filibuster.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) believes that the $15 minimum wage won’t be included on the bill.

“If it takes 60 votes or a supermajority of some kind, it’s very difficult, obviously,” Durbin told reporters on Monday.

Durbin also said that it’s very unlikely that the parliamentarian can be overruled.

“I would recommend that we look for another thing. I support increasing the minimum wage,” he said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also told reporters that Democrats need to “find another path.”

“We need to find another path to a minimum wage requirement. It’s a matter of basic human decency and fairness. And I am very, very optimistic that we will find another path,” Blumenthal said.

“Even though we may not have the votes right now.”

All Democratic senators would have to vote in favor to pass the bill, however, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have also expressed objections to including a boost to the federal minimum wage in the bill.

Joe Manchin
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin speaks to a reporter outside the Senate Chamber on Feb. 13, 2021. (Greg Nash/AFP via Getty Images)

The Congressional Budget Office released a report projecting that an estimated 1 million people would be “lifted” out of poverty with an increase in the minimum wage, but the report also found that the change would result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs.

Mimi Nguyen contributed to this report.