Somewhat surprisingly, several Democratic senators have voted against a procedural vote on raising the minimum wage to $15, an amendment introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The provision has been one of the stickiest points to contend with during debate over President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.
Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (MT), Joe Manchin (WV), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), and Delaware Democrats Tom Carper and Chris Coons all voted "no." Another surprising "no" came from independent Sen. Angus King of Maine.
Earlier this week, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the minimum wage measure could not be included in budget reconciliation. Sen. Sanders blasted the decision.
"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," he said. "In my view, it should have, and I think the parliamentarian is dead wrong."
He wanted Vice President Kamala Harris to overrule MacDonoguh, but after Friday's vote it's apparent that was a doomed effort.
This was the problem the with argument that Harris should just overrule the parliamentarian on $15 min wage: There still wouldn't be 50 votes and now looks like they were even further from 50 than expected. https://t.co/QlBpwfYkA9— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) March 5, 2021
The House passed the COVID relief bill last week on a mostly party line vote. Republicans opposed to the measure are frustrated that only 9 percent of the measure appears to be directed toward COVID health spending.