White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that President Biden is “committed” to pushing through minimum wage reform in his massive coronavirus relief proposal.
However, the Washington Examiner reported the same day that a top aide told the outlet that Biden has already admitted defeat and will not fight for the $15 minimum wage increase if the Senate shows resistance — which it already has.
Democrats voted in favor of pushing the monolithic relief bill through the upper chamber and into the budget reconciliation process, which would allow the finalization of the bill’s passage without bipartisan support.
However, the GOP was able to secure some concessions from Senate Democrats before the vote to move the bill to the budget reconciliation process, one of which was the removal of the $15 federal minimum wage mandate.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced that he’s working with a team of lawyers to develop an argument in favor of implementing the wage hike, but Moderate Democrats in the upper chamber appear unconvinced.
A Congressional Budget Office report threw another monkey wrench into the mix on Monday, claiming that the proposed minimum wage increase would lift 900,000 people above the poverty line, but at the cost of 1.4 million other jobs.
Biden himself does not appear optimistic about the chances of pushing the leftist measure through this time around, admitting on Sunday during an interview that he “put it in [the legislation], but I don’t think it’s going to survive.”
If GOP resistance to a massive minimum wage hike as part of a supposed “relief” bill wasn’t enough, the CBO’s nonpartisan report outlining the potentially devastating effects of the proposal could be the death knell for the liberal dream.
White House Counsel of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein attempted to diffuse negative implications that the report highlighted by declaring that “we have a tendency to focus on some of the big negatives” and that alternative research shows a minimum wage increase has far less economic impact than alleged.
Biden himself appears to have taken notice of the pushback against the drastic minimum wage hike, hedging on Friday that his “guess” is that it will not be a part of the final Senate bill, but he’s willing to negotiate it separately.
“My guess is, it will not be in it,” Biden said on Friday. “But I do think that we should have a minimum wage, stand by itself, $15 an hour, and work your way up to the 15. It doesn’t have to be “boom.”
“I’m prepared, as president of the United States, on a separate negotiation on minimum wage, to work my way up from what it is now,” he concluded.