Bernie Sanders is forcing other senators to go on the record about a $15 minimum wage

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Brendan Morrow
·1 min read
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday blasted the Senate parliamentarian who ruled that raising the minimum wage couldn't be included in Democrats' COVID-19 relief package, as he introduced an amendment looking to do exactly that.

The Vermont senator introduced an amendment to the COVID-19 relief bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years, despite Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough previously ruling the increase couldn't be included under budget reconciliation. Some progressives had called for Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian's decision, a move Sanders backed.

"Because of an unfortunate and, in my view, misguided decision by the parliamentarian, this reconciliation bill does not include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour," Sanders said. "In my view, it should have, and I think the parliamentarian is dead wrong."

Sanders went on to argue that it's "absurd" that this "unelected staffer" would be able to make this decision about raising the minimum wage, arguing "no parliamentarian should have that power" and that senators shouldn't "shuffle off" the reasonability of voting for or against the increase.

The White House previously said that President Biden "respects the parliamentarian's decision" rejecting the minimum wage increase "and the Senate's process." But NBC News' Sahil Kapur noted that while Sanders' amendment "doesn't have 50 votes at this stage and it's subject to being removed under reconciliation rules," it "looks like he intends to put every senator on the record."

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