Senate Democrats just lost eight votes in their caucus in favor of the controversial $15 minimum wage amendment, bringing the total votes in favor of the measure to 42-58 when 60 were needed to pass.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Kyrsten Sinema, Maggie Hassan, Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Carper, Chris Coons, and Angus King opposed the measure, joining the full complement of Republicans in the Senate. Coons and Carper are considered two close allies of President Joe Biden, who also served as a senator from Delaware, Fox Business reported.
Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough was the one who ruled last week against the proposal to include the pay raise in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion CCP Virus relief bill, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), introduced an amendment that needed the votes of all 48 Senate Democrats, the two independents, Sanders and King, who traditionally vote Democratic, and at least 10 Republicans to pass.
However, with the new changes to the votes of the eight Democrats, the results would fall 42-58, short of the 60 votes needed to override the parliamentary amendment proposing that a minimum wage increase cannot be included in a broader CCP Virus stimulus bill.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) argued that while she supports raising the minimum wage, the time and conditions are not right for it to be implemented, which is why there should be an open and separate policy debate to address the CCP Virus.
In a Twitter message she said, “Senators in both parties have shown support for raising the federal minimum wage and the Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the COVID-focused reconciliation bill.”
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) March 5, 2021
Other Democratic senators, such as Manchin, directly do not support imposing a minimum wage. Earlier in an interview with The Hill he said he does not support an increase to $15 per hour, and noted that he is open to raising the minimum wage to something that is “responsible and reasonable.” In West Virginia, his home state, he suggested it should be $11 an hour adjusting for inflation.
The minimum wage dispute follows strong criticism from various sectors of the population who argue that at this time of political crisis it would only increase unemployment and inflation.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has announced the minimum wage. The CBO estimated that about 1.4 million jobs in the country would be lost if President Joe Biden were to succeed in imposing the minimum hourly pay of $15 per hour of work.
“Rising prices, in turn, would lead consumers to buy fewer goods and services. Consequently, employers would produce fewer goods and services and, as a result, would tend to reduce their employment of workers at all wage levels,” the CBO calculated on its website on Feb. 8.
Other critics are even more pessimistic, such is the case of writer and host Sean Hannity, who assures that the impact of the increase to $15 per hour could leave 3.7 million people unemployed, as he stated in one of his tweets.
REPORT: Joe Biden’s Proposal to Raise National Minimum Wage to $15 Could ‘Kill 3.7 Million Jobs’ https://t.co/ke4sfIEc8t
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) January 20, 2021