Former Sanders aide bashes Democrats 'unwilling to hold the line' on $15 wage

Briahna Joy Gray, former press secretary for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Don't attack Zoom for its Bernie Sanders federal tax bill Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, said Wednesday it’s “damning” that some Democrats are “unwilling to hold the line” to keep the $15 minimum wage in the COVID-19 relief package.

Gray told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the Congressional Progressive Caucus could use the “leverage” of the narrow Democratic majority in the House to push for the $15 minimum wage. She called the lack of that effort from progressives so far “enormously disappointing.” 

“If 10 or so progressives were willing to withhold their votes, the posture of this conversation would change dramatically,” she said.

“If Republicans are willing to say they’re not gonna vote for this enormously popular stimulus bill because they think they are giving Americans who are struggling in an unprecedented way too much money, it’s really damning when you look at Democrats who are unwilling to hold the line to give Americans support for the help they actually voted for and the help they actually need,” Gray added.

Her comments come after the Senate parliamentarian ruled last week that the minimum wage provision could not be included in the $1.9 trillion relief package if Democrats move it forward under special budget rules to prevent a filibuster.

The Senate is slated to vote on the relief package this week after the House approved it over the weekend. Sanders has vowed to force a vote on the minimum wage, essentially daring more moderate Democratic senators to vote against it.