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Sanders defuses late-night fight over $15 minimum wage

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: Lowering income threshold for stimulus checks would undermine Biden administration’s COVID-19 response Biden sitting down for pre-Super Bowl CBS interview Coronavirus relief poses early test of Democratic unity MORE (I-Vt.) defused a middle-of-the-night battle over growing the federal minimal wage, successfully permitting Democrats to sidestep happening the report on the problem for now.

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenate panel advances Vilsack nomination to head Agriculture Dept. Senate GOP boxes itself in on impeachment Senate GOP signals it’s likely to acquit Trump for second time MORE (R-Iowa) throughout Thursday’s vote-a-rama introduced up her modification that will throw the Senate’s assist behind not growing the wage to $15 per hour throughout a worldwide well being pandemic.

“A $15 federal minimal wage could be devastating for our hardest hit small companies at a time after they can least afford it,” Ernst stated.

She added that whereas all senators “assist increased wages … a $15 federal minimal wage could be counterproductive to this purpose.”

The modification, like most through the Senate’s hours-long vote-a-rama on the finances decision, is non-binding. However a roll name vote would have pressured Democrats to go on the report on growing the minimal wage to $15 an hour whereas they’re nonetheless attempting to determine a coverage that unifies their slim majority. 

Sanders, who has led the push to extend the minimal wage to $15 an hour, shortly stood as much as converse on the Senate ground, and in a twist, it wasn’t to oppose Ernst’s modification, however to assist it.

“It was by no means my intention to extend the minimal wage to $15 instantly and through the pandemic,” Sanders stated. “My laws step by step will increase the minimal wage to $15 an hour over a five-year interval and that’s what I consider we’ve got received to do.”

He added that was going to assist Ernst’s modification “as a result of no person is speaking about doubling the federal minimal wage through the pandemic.”

The modification in the end handed the Senate by a voice vote, as a substitute of the high-stakes roll name vote that finances watchers had been ready for Republicans to pressure.

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid plan consists of a rise within the federal minimal wage to $15 an hour. The concept has the assist of highly effective progressives, like Sanders, in each chambers, in addition to members of management.

However growing the minimal wage to $15 per hour would not seem to at present have the 50 Senate votes wanted to make it regulation. 

A separate stand-alone invoice from Sanders that will increase the minimal wage to $15 by 2025 has the assist of 37 extra senators.

The finances decision that the Senate is predicted to cross early Friday morning paves the best way for Democrats to cross subsequent coronavirus aid laws with out GOP assist. 

Supporters of accelerating the minimal wage to $15 per hour wish to embrace it in that invoice, but when Democrats cross coronavirus aid on their very own, they’re going to want a proposal that may win over each member of the Senate caucus within the evenly divided 50-50 chamber.

A number of Democratic senators have declined to say in the event that they particularly assist growing the minimal wage to $15 per hour, and Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy | EPA nominee Regan pledges ‘urgency’ on climate change at confirmation hearing | Omar calls on Biden to block pipeline being built in Minnesota Senate passes organizing resolution after Schumer-McConnell deal Poll: 64 percent support increasing the federal minimum wage to by 2025 MORE (D-W.Va.), an important vote, has explicitly stated he opposes it. 

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