Minimum wage increase imperiled in covid relief bill by Senate official’s ruling https://t.co/d9CKdRrFDH
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 26, 2021
Accursed Friday news dump, per the Washington Post:
… Democrats had been anxiously awaiting the decision, but their next steps are not clear. Liberals are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to challenge the ruling on the Senate floor, although the White House has dismissed that idea.
Schumer released a brief statement Thursday night vowing to fight on, without saying how…
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that Biden was “disappointed in this outcome” but “respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate’s process.”
“He will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward, because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty,” Psaki said. “He urges Congress to move quickly to pass the American Rescue Plan.”
The ruling was made by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, a nonpartisan official who is little known outside Washington but might command tremendous influence over certain elements of Biden’s agenda. Her ruling pertains only to the Senate, where the legislation will move forward under complex rules that prohibit certain items that don’t have a particular effect on the budget. MacDonough determined that, as written, the minimum-wage increase did not pass that test — an outcome that had been predicted by a number of Democrats, including Biden himself.
Despite her ruling, the House is preparing to vote Friday to pass the stimulus relief package with the $15 minimum wage included and send it to the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement Thursday…
Pelosi’s decision to pass the $1.9 trillion relief bill with the minimum-wage language intact means Schumer will face a potentially consequential decision. He could take out the minimum-wage language before putting the bill on the Senate floor, or try to keep it in the bill — whether by challenging the parliamentarian’s ruling or trying to rewrite the provision in such a way that it could pass muster under the Senate’s complicated rules…
… White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has publicly ruled out trying to overrule the parliamentarian, and Democrats probably would not command the necessary votes to succeed anyway, since at least one Senate Democrat — Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) — has said he would not vote to overrule the parliamentarian…
Several liberal Democrats said Thursday they need to do whatever it takes to raise the minimum wage — including eliminating the filibuster, the 60-vote rule that gives the minority party enormous sway in the Senate. Manchin and Sinema have said publicly they oppose taking that step.
“We still need to pass the minimum wage, and if that means getting rid of the filibuster, so be it,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said.
“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.”
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) February 26, 2021
Media Village Idiots gleeful over prospects of Dems in Disarray!; more cautious observers wonder if Repubs are the ones stepping on their own… agenda:
A 15 dollar min wage won 60% of vote in Florida in 2020. A political reporter thinking this some kind of risky vote is equivalent of doctor recommending you balance your humors. https://t.co/eqtuFPX6ib
— Alex Hazanov. (@alexhazanov) February 26, 2021
Walk the plank? I can’t think of a district where the $15 wage is less popular than the Democratic member of congress https://t.co/aq3EWNO5oA
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 26, 2021
reminder that this could be prevented if a mere 17/50 republican senators did NOT regard poor people as vermin https://t.co/THPSFKyI9k
— josh ???? (@josh_posts) February 26, 2021
indeed. it all totally glosses over the reason for all these contortions, which is that approximately zero senate republicans are going to vote for major dem proposals https://t.co/S81annNzhE
— Gerry Doyle (@mgerrydoyle) February 26, 2021
Needless to say, I place my trust in Nancy Pelosi. (Worse comes to worst — and there will be a lot of words said before the final legislation is sent to President Biden — we Democrats have gone on the record as supporting an essential economic upgrade.)
I do assume there will be some form of Recovery Act passed before mid-March, because either enough Repubs will realize they’re better off doing the right thing, or Manchin & Sinema will decide that posturing as ‘centrists’ for their voters won’t be enough to save them come the next primaries.