Democrats hope to push President Biden’s promised $15 per hour minimum wage increase in a newly proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
The current federal minimum wage sits at $7.25 per hour and hasn’t changed since 2009.
Senator Bernie Sanders proposed this legislation with the backing of 37 Democratic Senators. If it were to pass, the minimum wage would increase by $15 by every five years.
In Sanders’ argument, he called out Republicans for favoring big corporations over working families in the last relief bill passed under former President Donald Trump.
He said, “As you will recall, my Republican colleagues used reconciliation to give almost $2 trillion in tax breaks to the rich and large corporations in the midst of massive income inequality. They used reconciliation to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw 32 million people off the health care they had. They used reconciliation to allow for drilling in the Arctic wilderness. “You know what? I think we can use reconciliation to protect the needs of working families.”
Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said they aim to push this through by March.
Congressman Tom Reed is the co-chair of the House Problem Solvers commented on the Democrat’s push for the minimum wage increase.
He said, “The more you throw into this bucket of COVID relief that’s not really related to the crisis, the more you risk the credibility with the American people that you’re really sincere about the crisis.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s chief policy officer, Neil Bradly said, “There’s no question that raising the minimum wage, especially to $15, will put some small businesses out of business and will cost a lot of low-wage workers their jobs.”