Hawley, Sanders both backing corporate tax to get $15 minimum wage
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Friday announced a plan to tax big companies that don’t pay their workers at least $15 per hour, an alternative minimum wage approach also put forth by by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
“For decades, the wages of everyday, working Americans have remained stagnate [sic] while monopoly corporations have consolidated industry after industry, securing record profits for CEOs and investment bankers,” Hawley said in a statement.
“Mega-corporations can afford to pay their workers $15 an hour, and it’s long past time they do so, but this should not come at the expense of small businesses already struggling to make it.”
Progressive Democrats pushing for a $15 minimum wage suffered a blow Thursday night when Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the policy could not be included in the budget reconciliation process.
Democrats hoped to pass the wage as part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package using the reconciliation process that only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate.
Sanders flayed the opinion and said he would work on an amendment to tax big, profitable companies paying below $15 an hour.
“That amendment must be included in this reconciliation bill,” he said.
The details of the various plans do not align, particularly elements that would subsidize wages for small companies.
But it is not the first time Hawley and Sanders find themselves supporting similar policy goals. Last year, the two teamed up on legislation to increase COVID-19 stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000.
Then-President Trump endorsed the approach, leading to a wave of GOP support for the measure, but only after the legislation already passed both chambers and could not be amended. Trump signed the original legislation into law.
President Biden’s current COVID-19 proposal would provide a $1,400 stimulus, making up the difference between the $600 approved in September and the $2,000 figure.