Democrats Oppose Bernie Sanders’ Bill

Democrats join Republicans to oppose Bernie Sanders’ bill

Sen. Sanders (I-Vt) proposed a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over five fiscal years.

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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Angus King (I-Maine) – who works with Democrats – opposed Sanders’ proposal. They literally joined all Republicans in the upper chamber. Coons and Carper are close allies of Joe Biden.

The final vote tally stood at 42-58 and was short of the 60 votes Senators needed to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s decision that a minimum wage can’t be added to the COVID-19 stimulus bill.

Sinema supports the raise. The minimum wage was last increased a decade ago. Sinema tweeted she knows “what it is like to face tough choices while working to meet your family’s most basic needs.”

“Senators in both parties have shown support for raising the federal minimum wage and the Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the COVID-focused reconciliation bill,” she said.

In another interview with The Hill, Manchin said he would never support the $15 per hour raise. However, he would raise the minimum wage to numbers that are “responsible and reasonable.” IN West Virginia, Manchin suggested it should go at $11 per hour.

Progressive Democrats and Sanders criticized the move. Some even said the eight senators should be primaried.

“Are you on the side of the working people in America who desperately need a raise? Or are you on the side of the wealthy and the powerful who want to continue exploiting their workers and paying starvation wages?” the Vermont senator, who chairs the Budget Committee, asked on the Senate floor. “It ain’t more complicated than that.”

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said “every single senator who voted against a $15 minimum wage today should be forced to live on $7.25 an hour so that they can demonstrate to all of us how it’s possible” in reference to the current minimum wage.

According to Republicans, Sanders’ proposal would be impossible to carry out in some parts which would lead to dramatic job losses.

“If the federal government mandates a universal $15 minimum wage, many low-income Americans will lose their current jobs and find fewer job opportunities in the future,” Toomey said in January.

The US Labor Department reported that US employment saw an increase in February (379,000 jobs). This is higher than most economists predicted.

The US unemployment rate went from 6.3 percent to 6.2 percent in February.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Washington had to take an aggressive approach to the situation. Millions of people lost their job during the pandemic and some people can’t even pay their rent.

“Sometimes the macro statistics get in the way. The top-end [of Americans] is doing very well … But so many other people are struggling,” he said.

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Source: The Epoch Times



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