For all the workers, protesting to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour, Thursday’s Senate ruling might have been a severe blow. The in-house referee and the parliamentarian ruled that the inclusion of this provision was not compliant with the rules that govern the budget procedure of the Coronavirus relief package.
This was a major letdown for all the Democrats who were earnestly hoping to pass the minimum wages provision in a simple majority. Several Democrats have spoken up against the Senate ruling passed this Thursday. The parliamentarian said that the urgency of the Covid relief bill has allowed it to be passed with a simple majority. However, the same is not true for the minimum wage proposal.
Democrats Disappointed With The Minimum Wage Ruling
Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader (D.NY.) mentioned in a statement that he was deeply disappointed in the Senate’s decision. He further said that they are not going to give up the fight till all Americans get what they deserve. He exclaimed that the American people are in dire need of this provision to get back on their feet post the long months of lockdown.
The hurdle to the minimum wage provision is the Byrd rule according to which provisions that involve expenditure and taxes shall be deemed stricken unless its proponent can muster a 3/5 (60) Senate majority vote to waive the rule. This means that Democrats can still pursue the minimum wage hike but it will require 60 Senate approvals. However, the possibility of such a ruling is slim as the provision lacks Republican support.
Among others, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina announced that he was pleased with the Senate’s ruling on the subject. Democrats like Bernie Sanders, however, strongly disagreed with the ruling demanding the provision be included in the American relief bill.