ANL 19.29 Decreased By ▼ -1.56 (-7.48%)
ASC 13.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.66%)
ASL 22.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.80 (-3.48%)
BOP 8.18 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.24%)
BYCO 7.55 Decreased By ▼ -0.26 (-3.33%)
FCCL 17.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.35 (-1.97%)
FFBL 22.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-2.86%)
FFL 15.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-1.94%)
FNEL 7.40 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.68%)
GGGL 17.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.83 (-4.66%)
GGL 39.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.71 (-1.77%)
HUMNL 5.76 Decreased By ▼ -0.26 (-4.32%)
JSCL 18.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-1.64%)
KAPCO 35.95 Decreased By ▼ -0.40 (-1.1%)
KEL 3.29 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-3.24%)
MDTL 2.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-5.66%)
MLCF 34.24 Decreased By ▼ -0.86 (-2.45%)
NETSOL 119.85 Decreased By ▼ -9.55 (-7.38%)
PACE 4.94 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (4%)
PAEL 26.53 Decreased By ▼ -0.47 (-1.74%)
PIBTL 8.71 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-1.58%)
POWER 7.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-2.68%)
PRL 16.97 Decreased By ▼ -0.18 (-1.05%)
PTC 9.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.36 (-3.6%)
SILK 1.50 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
SNGP 45.10 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.22%)
TELE 17.48 Decreased By ▼ -1.41 (-7.46%)
TRG 161.00 Decreased By ▼ -1.70 (-1.04%)
UNITY 31.80 Decreased By ▼ -1.15 (-3.49%)
WTL 2.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-3.06%)
BR100 4,718 Decreased By ▼ -14.65 (-0.31%)
BR30 22,320 Decreased By ▼ -482.1 (-2.11%)
KSE100 45,074 Decreased By ▼ -223.36 (-0.49%)
KSE30 17,742 Decreased By ▼ -68.18 (-0.38%)

Pakistan Deaths
Pakistan Cases
4.23% positivity

WASHINGTON: A key US Senate official ruled Thursday that President Joe Biden's $15 per hour minimum wage measure cannot be included in the huge Covid relief bill as written, imperiling Democratic efforts to fulfill a progressive priority.

The Senate parliamentarian told lawmakers that the minimum wage language is not eligible to be in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package if Democrats seek to pass it through a filibuster-proof bill.

The process, known as reconciliation, allows lawmakers to pass a budget-related bill with just a simple 51-vote majority in the 100-member chamber, rather than the 60 votes normally required for major legislation.

Republicans in the evenly split Senate are largely opposed to the relief package, meaning Democrats would need to shelve the national minimum wage hike to $15 an hour from $7.25 if they want any chance at passing the Covid aid.

"President Biden is disappointed in this outcome, as he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the American Rescue Plan," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"He urges Congress to move quickly to pass the (bill), which includes $1400 rescue checks for most Americans" and other funding to help control and eliminate the pandemic.

Republicans voiced support for the ruling, with Senator Lindsey Graham saying "this decision will, over time, reinforce the traditions of the Senate."

The blow to Democrats comes one day before the House of Representatives votes on the plan aimed at providing relief to millions of struggling American families, along with businesses and communities hurt by the pandemic.

The ruling affects only the Senate. But because any bill must pass both chambers before the president signs it into law, parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough's decision effectively strips the wage hike out of the package.

'Archaic and undemocratic'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nevertheless insisted her chamber will go ahead with its vote on the bill -- with the wage increase included.

"House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary," Pelosi said in a statement.

"Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the floor tomorrow.

Should that pass, the minimum wage language would likely be stripped out of the Senate version.

With the Senate split 50-50, Democrats would need to remain unified if they get no Republican support, then count on a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

If the Senate and House versions are different, as they now appear certain to be, they would need to be reconciled into a single bill and passed again before Biden signs it into law.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who is also chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, blasted the Senate ruling.

Most Americans support a minimum wage hike, Sanders said.

"Yet because of the archaic and undemocratic rules of the Senate we are unable to move forward to end starvation wages and raise the income of 32 million struggling Americans," he added. "That fight continues."

Sanders said he aims to offer a countermeasure in the bill: an amendment to strip tax deductions from major corporations that don't pay above $15 an hour.


Comments are closed.