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Senate parliamentarian strikes down minimum wage hike in latest COVID-19 relief bill

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President Biden is disappointed over the Senate parliamentarian's ruling against including a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour in the latest COVID-19 relief bill. The House plans to vote Friday on Mr. Biden's $1.9 trillion American rescue plan. Nikole Killion reports from Capitol Hill.

Video Transcript

TONY DOKOUPIL: President Biden's bid to double the federal minimum wage apparently will not be part of his COVID relief package. The House is due to vote today on the $1.9 trillion plan to address the economic impact of the pandemic. But the official in charge of Senate rules says that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour should be removed from the bill.

Nikole Killion is on Capitol Hill for us. Nikole, good morning to you. This affects millions of people.

NIKOLE KILLION: Yeah, it sure does, Tony. And Democrats plan to pass the president's plan through a budget process called reconciliation. That allows Democrats to pass a big package in the Senate with a simple majority, but the trade off is that the bill can only involve taxing and spending. The nonpartisan Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth McDonough, decided the minimum wage provision didn't meet that standard.

The White House says, President Biden is disappointed, but Speaker Pelosi says, the House will keep the minimum wage hike in its version of the bill. So that is the relief plan that they are voting on today. It includes more stimulus checks for $1,400 and unemployment benefits will go up by $400 a week. There is also funding for reopening schools, rental and food assistance, vaccine distribution, and aid for state and local governments. Now this is unlikely to garner much Republican support, but if it does clear both chambers, Democrats hope to get it to the president's desk by mid-March. Anthony.

ANTHONY MASON: Nikole Killion at the Capitol. Thanks, Nikole.