Young, unskilled workers across the nation are sure to be thrilled at the prospect of a federal minimum wage hike to $15 per hour.
Recent reports, however, indicate that they are likely going to have to wait longer than they might have hoped since such a wage increase might not be included in the upcoming vote on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill being proposed by President Joe Biden.
“We’ll see what additional options are”
According to the Washington Examiner, it appears that the White House has no intentions of overriding the Senate parliamentarian if the proposal is dropped from the American Rescue Plan. Although Biden said he remains “firmly committed” to the pursuit of a higher minimum wage, he admitted that he had doubts that it would be realized with the passage of the upcoming relief bill.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki received a question on the topic during Monday’s news conference, revealing that the administration would weigh its options if the provision is not included in the special budgetary reconciliation rule that will allow the bill to pass with a simple majority vote.
The Senate parliamentarian retains the authority to consider which provisions meet the criteria for a bill to be passed under the special rules.
“We’ll see what the parliamentarian decides, and then we’ll see what additional options are, but we’re getting a little ahead of where we are at this point in the process,” Psaki said.
Vice President Kamala Harris, however, could overrule the parliamentarian’s decision, though Psaki doubled down and essentially confirmed that the White House trusts the congressional process.
Likely impact of $15 per hour rate
The Biden administration is currently facing criticism for its pursuit of a massive minimum wage hike, stemming from a report by the Congressional Budget Office that indicated a $15 per hour rate would cause an unemployment spike to the tune of 1.4 million jobs lost by 2025.
As Breitbart reported, such an increase would also add a staggering $54 billion to the federal budget over the next decade.
Further exacerbating the situation is the potentially profound impact on young job-seekers who make up the majority of minimum-wage workers.
Democrats can expect to face plenty of obstacles on their way to the progressive agenda item — including from within the party. Moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) have signaled that fears over the inevitable consequences small businesses will face could be a reason to oppose the proposal.
According to The Hill, the measure is also being opposed by much of the service industry, which is already reeling from the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns of the past year.