House Dems Push Minimum Wage Raise in COVID Relief Bill Despite Senate Concerns

Labor News

President Biden and Vice President Harris at podium; from The White House Facebook page

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Kristina Peterson and Andrew Restuccia on February 12, 2021.

House Democrats are preparing to stitch together a legislative version of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal next week, which will include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour despite a second Senate Democrat opposing it this week.

House committees spent the past week shaping portions of the legislation, including the proposal to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over four years. Early next week, the House Budget Committee is expected to assemble all the pieces into one bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., California) said should pass the full House by the end of the month.

Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote from their ranks in the evenly divided Senate. But the office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Arizona) said this week that she wouldn’t support including the minimum wage increase in the coronavirus relief package, joining Senator Joe Manchin (D., West Virginia) and most Republicans in opposing its inclusion. Politico first reported her decision. …

WSJ 2/12

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at