Brown vows Democrats will ‘find a way’ to raise minimum wage
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) pledged Sunday that Democrats would “find a way” to pass an increase of the federal minimum wage after the Senate’s parliamentarian ruled that the provision could not be included in a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package set to pass the chamber through budget reconciliation.
Speaking with host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brown explained that the Democratic Senate caucus was “united” in their goal to increase the minimum wage, even though some conservatives in the party including Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) have indicated opposition to seeing it increase to $15 per hour.
“Democrats are united in giving a raise,” Brown said Sunday. ” We’re going to raise wages. We’re going to find a way to. We’re going to make attempts; we’re going to find a way to. It’s just too important not to.”
“We will figure out a way to do this because again Democrats are united in raising wages. The corporate elite, the far-right elite in Washington have blocked it year after year after year after year, and we’re going to make it happen,” he added.
The comments come as the Senate’s parliamentarian dealt a blow to progressives this week by ruling that the measure could not be included in the Democrats’ COVID-19 package should it be passed through the budget reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes to pass legislation. Some members of the House have called for Vice President Kamala Harris to overrule the parliamentarian in response.
Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking and Housing Committee, added in the interview that Democrats had a responsibility to pass a large COVID-19 relief package and not cave to calls from Republicans to cut major parts of the bill out in exchange for their support.
“[W]e can’t fall short here,” he said. “We need to go big with wages, with help for people, with money in people’s pockets, and… [getting] workers in these jobs.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) opposed increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. In a statement, Sinema’s office clarified that she opposed the provision in the COVID-19 relief package, but does not oppose raising the wage to $15 per hour overall.