Progressives urge White House to overrule top Senate official and include $15 minimum wage in COVID-19 relief bill

Progressive Democrats launched a last-minute campaign urging the White House to overrule a top Senate official who decided late Thursday night that a federal minimum wage increase could not be included in the coronavirus relief package.

The parliamentarian, the non-partisan Senate referee, determined that raising the pay floor from $7.25 an hour is not compliant with rules under the procedural tool that Democrats are using to pass the measure with a simple majority in both chambers and avoid a Senate filibuster by Republicans.

The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough dealt a major blow to liberal lawmakers, who have tried for years to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour and viewed President Biden's nearly $2 trillion relief package as the best avenue to do so.

Despite that, the 94-member Congressional Progressive Caucus began to almost immediately pressure the Biden administration to overturn the decision.

"We cannot allow the advisory opinion of an unelected parliamentarian and Republican obstructionism stop us from delivering on our promise to voters," the caucus tweeted Thursday night. "Workers are counting on us to #FightFor15 and finally #RaiseTheWage for millions."
The Capitol by Chris Gladis is licensed under flickr

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