United States: Minimum wage hike will not be part of the stimulus package

Posted26 February 2021, 03:24

The vast stimulus package wanted by Joe Biden can not include the planned increase in the minimum wage, ruled Thursday the official responsible for protecting the rules of the Senate, condemning this clause to disappear.

Despite this setback, the US president immediately urged Congress to “move quickly to adopt the American Rescue Plan”.

“President Biden is disappointed by this result, since he had proposed to include the increase in the minimum wage to 15 dollars” in this vast plan estimated at 1900 billion dollars, reacted the spokeswoman of the White House Jen Psaki. “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 said in a statement.

Comments on the same line as those of Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which suggests that the party leaders are determined to move forward with 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.

Shuttle bus

After the announcement that the minimum wage hike was to be withdrawn from the text in the Senate, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would keep it in the text to be put to a vote on Friday, the time of which has not been completed. not yet 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 a 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 It will then be sent to the Senate, where, barring any great surprise, the salary hike should be withdrawn. If it is in turn adopted, this text will go back to the House for a final vote.

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.

(AFP)

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