Democrats shelve tax penalty aimed at raising minimum wage

03 Mars, 2021, 08:37 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Sanders on what happens with proposed minimum wage increase now

Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said they were working on plans to increase taxes on large corporations that don't meet certain levels for workers' pay.

In a column on Saturday, The New Republic's Osita Nwanevu argued that Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for the failure to include the $15 minimum wage increase in the Senate's COVID-19 relief package. "Harris is not from the progressive wing of the party, there's no reason to believe that she will strongly advocate for progressive positions very extensively."While conversations about alternatives are ongoing, those on the left are generally against the idea of potentially trying to raise the federal minimum wage through a standalone bill, acknowledging that it is not likely to pass in a 50-50 Senate".

The House passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, setting up what is expected to be days of debate and dealmaking in and around the Senate.

Following the passage of the COVID-19 package in the House on Saturday, Ben Jealous, president of People For the American Way, applauded the approval and said now it is time for the Senate to complete the job.

Following the parliamentarian's ruling, top Senate Democrats scrambled to come up with an alternate approach that would instead penalize companies that don't pay a $15 minimum wage, but those efforts collapsed over the weekend after they proved not to be viable.

There are also political hurdles.

Psaki opened Monday's White House press briefing by emphasizing the urgency of congressional action to finalize the relief bill with just two weeks remaining before a March 14 deadline when enhanced unemployment benefits will expire.

But that plan was dropped, Democrats said Monday, with Sanders saying the proposal would have been too easy for employers to evade.

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"Make no mistake", he added, "We will deliver the American Rescue Plan with overwhelming public support". Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Marie Newman (D-IL), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Mondaire Jones (D-NY) about how to effectively use the shared bargaining power of left-wing lawmakers to advance the wage goal with the White House."We all felt that something needed to be done", Khanna told The Daily Beast about the late-night strategy session.

"I am not sure, however, that my view at this point is the majority view in the Democratic Caucus", Sanders said in a statement. "Both Republicans and Democrats voted against it", said Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris may have to cast a tie-breaking vote in a chamber where Republicans control 50 seats and Democrats and their allies control the other 50.

Democrats will need unanimous support to move the bill through the Senate, which is divided 50-50. One of them, Senator Jon Tester, told reporters they discussed "targeting" the funds in the legislation.

Republicans in Congress, who broadly backed COVID-19 relief spending early in the pandemic, say the relief plan is too expensive and includes things like transportation projects that have nothing to do with relief for COVID-19. They would also have to face a daunting variety of loopholes, such as companies shifting workers to independent contractor status. The big-ticket items include $1,400 direct payments to individuals, a $400-per-week federal unemployment benefit through August 29, and help for those in difficulty paying rents and home mortgages during the pandemic.

"We're moving ahead with a bill that probably will get no Republican votes in the Senate, but will have broad Republican support in the country", Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

The Democratic measure includes funding to track the virus and distribute vaccines, and sends a new round of aid to households, small businesses and state and local governments.



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