Senate ruling says Democrats can’t put $15 minimum wage in Covid relief bill – By Sahil Kapur and Leigh Ann Caldwell (NBC News) / Feb 25 2021
The parliamentarian said the provision violates the rules and cannot be included.
WASHINGTON — A ruling in the Senate on Thursday dealt a severe blow to Democrats’ hopes of raising the minimum wage in the Covid-19 relief package, probably dooming the proposal in the legislation that is headed for a vote in Congress.
The parliamentarian, the in-house referee, ruled that the provision was not compliant with rules governing the budget process that Congress is using to pass the bill with simple majorities.
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families. The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality.”
The so-called Byrd rule limits acceptable provisions in the reconciliation process to those that involve taxing and spending. Democrats can still try to pass a wage hike through regular order, but that would require 60 Senate votes, which all but ensures failure because of a lack of Republican support.