The vast stimulus package wanted by Joe Biden can not include the planned increase in the minimum wage, ruled Thursday, February 25 the official responsible for protecting the rules of the Senate, condemning this clause to disappear from the bill.
Despite this setback, the US president immediately urged Congress to “Move quickly to adopt the American rescue plan”. The “Includes $ 1,400 in aid checks for most Americans, funds to fight the virus, funds to reopen our schools and help those hardest hit by this crisis desperately need “, said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“President Biden is disappointed with this result, since he had proposed to include the increase in the minimum wage to 15 dollars” in its vast plan estimated at 1.9 trillion dollars, she said in a statement. “He will work with congressional leaders to determine the best way forward because no one in this country should have to work full time while living in poverty.”, she clarified.
First vote this Friday
Comments on the same line as those of Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which suggests that party officials are determined to move towards the adoption of the plan even without this provision, which they will try to pass in a separate law. The House of Representatives is due to vote on the aid plan on Friday.
After the announcement that the minimum wage hike was to be withdrawn from the text in the Senate, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would keep it in the text to be voted on, the time of which has not yet been completed. yet been announced. “House Democrats believe the minimum wage hike is necessary. This provision will therefore remain in the “American rescue plan” which will be put to the vote tomorrow ”, she wrote.
Concretely, this implies a longer parliamentary shuttle. Given their majority in the lower house, this bill is likely to be easily passed there. It will then be sent to the Senate, where the salary increase is expected to be withdrawn. If it is in turn adopted, this text will go back to the House for a final vote.
Support for large companies
While some progressives have called for a fight to override the decision Thursday night of Elizabeth MacDonough, parliamentary expert and guardian of upper house procedures, her withdrawal could in fact facilitate the adoption of the plan to support the US economy, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The increase in the hourly minimum wage indeed divided some progressive and moderate Democrats. However, with its very slim majority in the Senate, the party needs unity to pass its laws.
By presenting his plan on January 14, Joe Biden had indicated that he wanted to have it adopted by early February. Time is running out, in particular because the payment of prolonged unemployment benefits in a previous aid plan will cease on March 14. Several dozen bosses of the largest American companies, from Goldman Sachs to Apple to General Motors, called on Congress on Wednesday to quickly adopt this new support plan.