Among Democrat’s key promises during Biden’s campaign was to get a $15-an-hour minimum wage, something that liberals call the “Fight for Fifteen.” Within weeks of his administration starting, President Biden admits it might be time to put the minimum wage on hold – for now.
The main reason he is backing away from the policy is because it is causing delays on the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package. Conservatives have made it clear they object to having this issue in a bill that is meant to provide economic relief.
“I could include it, but I don’t think it would survive,” Biden said to CBS. “My guess is it won’t be in the final bill.”
The other problem faced by Biden is congressional procedures.
Democrats have moved to force through the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. They are using a process called reconciliation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stated on Friday that the House wants to pass the relief bill within two weeks.
Under reconciliation, only measures related to budget can be passed. Biden has said those rules likely would not allow a minimum wage provision.
But Biden has also said he is willing to work on a separate negotiation to raise the minimum wage.
“I’m prepared as President to work on a separate negotiation on minimum wage,” Biden said to CBS. “No American should work a 40 hour work-week and be below the poverty line. And if you’re making under $15 an hour, you’re below the poverty line.”
Bernie Sanders (D-VT), the Senate Budget Committee Chairman has said he is trying to include the minimum wage into the bill because he claims it does have budget implications.