Sanders vows to force vote on $15 minimum wage
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says Democrats should “ignore” the recent ruling of the Senate parliamentarian and is vowing to force the Senate to vote this week on an amendment to set the federal minimum wage at $15 an hour.
Sanders on Monday declared he would not back down on his signature wage initiative after Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled last week that a provision setting the federal minimum wage at $15 an hour would not be eligible under special budget rules Democrats are using to avoid a filibuster while passing their coronavirus relief bill.
“My personal view is that the idea that we have a Senate staffer, a high-ranking staffer, deciding whether 30 million Americans get a pay raise or not is nonsensical. We have got to make that decision, not a staffer who’s unelected, so my own view is that we should ignore the rulings, the decision of the parliamentarian,” Sanders told reporters.
Sanders added, “Given the enormous crises facing this country and the desperation of working families, we have got to as soon as possible end the filibuster.”
“We cannot have a minority of members define what the American people want,” he said.
Sanders said he will force a vote on an amendment raising the federal minimum wage this week.
“To the best of my knowledge, there will be a vote on the minimum wage, and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I intend to offer the bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and we’ll see how the votes go.”
“If we fail in this legislation, I will be back,” he warned. “We are going to keep going.
“We are going to raise that minimum wage very shortly to $15 an hour,” he said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), another leading Senate progressive, on Monday said she favors a vote to overrule the parliamentarian.
“I agree,” she said.
But Warren said the Senate filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to pass most controversial legislation, is the biggest obstacle facing President Biden’s agenda.
“Understand, the only reason that we’re in this mess is because of the filibuster. If we would get rid of the filibuster, then we wouldn’t have to keep trying to force the camel through the eye of the needle,” she said.
“Instead, we would do what the majority of Americans want us to do, and in this particular case, that’s raise the minimum wage,” she added.