Manchin: Every member of the Senate thinks minimum wage should increase
Moderate West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) predicted that the Senate would be able to reach a compromise to raise the minimum wage nationally during an interview Sunday.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin told host Jake Tapper that he believed every single member of the upper chamber supported a minimum wage increase and that the disagreement was over how much it should be.
“There’s not one senator out of 100 that does not want to raise the minimum wage,” Manchin said. “Not one.”
He went on to explain that he supports raising the minimum wage to a level that would allow a full-time worker to live above the federal poverty line, which he said was how he landed on his suggestion for the new minimum wage level of $11 per hour.
“Once it gets above $11, it should be indexed so it never becomes a political football again,” he added while addressing criticism from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) aimed at his opposition to a $15 per hour minimum wage.
“We come from two areas of the country with different social needs, and we need to respect that,” he said.
Manchin’s comments come as the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by the Senate on Saturday came down to a party-line vote, leaving Manchin and other moderate senators in a valuable position as both parties lobbied for their support.
In a series of amendment votes, Manchin largely remained loyal to party leadership on Saturday, joining with the other 49 members of his caucus to kill a number of GOP-led amendments to the bill.