One of Vice President Joe Biden’s top policy priorities, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, was dealt a major setback Friday when eight Democratic senators voted against it.
The proposal by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to waive a procedural opposition to include the $15 minimum wage in a COVID-19 relief package was soundly rejected by a vote of 58-42, with seven Democrats and one independent joining all 50 Republicans in voting no.
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The following are the eight Senate Democratic Conference members who voted against the $15 minimum wage:
Last month, Manchin stated unequivocally that he opposes a $15 federal minimum wage, instead proposing $11 an hour, indexed to inflation.
He said, “I’m in favor of essentially doing something that’s responsible and fair.”
He is from a state that supported former President Trump overwhelmingly in 2016 and 2020, with 68 percent and 69 percent of the vote, respectively.
In the 50-50 Senate, where a single Democrat’s defection can disrupt Biden’s agenda, Manchin, the most conservative member of the Democratic conference, has emerged as a power broker.
Sinema is a moderate Democrat who is difficult to predict.
In February, she told Politico that she opposed including a $15 minimum wage clause in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
She disagreed with Arizona Senator Mark Kelly (D), who voted Friday to waive a procedural objection to establishing a $15 national minimum wage.
When a video clip of Sinema striding to the Senate in a chic sweater and skirt and flashing a thumbs down with a little jumping bend of her knees circulated online, she was promptly chastised.
On Twitter, Robert Nichols, president of the Arizona Progressive People’s Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for progressive policies, chastised Sinema for “gleefully voting” against the minimum wage amendment, saying the senator was on “let them eat cake” vibes.
Bobby Boucher, JD is Nichols’ Twitter handle.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) (D-N.H.)
Sanders’ plan to gradually increase the minimum wage for employees who earn tips, such as servers and busboys, to $15 an hour, eventually eliminating the unique “tipped wage,” has alarmed Shaheen.
“I favor increasing the minimum wage, but I’m worried about adding a tipped wage clause because of the restaurant industry’s current state. We’ve had a lot of closures,” she said, adding that the industry is in “dire straits.”
Shaheen won reelection with 57 percent of the vote last year, but New Hampshire has a history of being a battleground state.
Senator Maggie Hassan (R-NH) (D-N.H.)
Hassan often joins her home-state colleague Shaheen at bipartisan luncheons organized by Manchin in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and she was seen there this week.
Hassan campaigned in 2014 to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. At the time, she was vice chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association.
She said in 2016 that New Hampshire’s minimum wage should be raised to at least $10 per hour, but added, “I believe we should look at the it more going forward.”
Senator Jon Tester (R-MT) (D-Mont.)
In recent weeks, Tester has expressed reservations about increasing the minimum wage to $15.
Last month, he said, clicking his fingers, “There has to be some talk about how it’s done, and it can be done like that.”
“I believe the minimum wage should be increased. But I believe we need to stretch it a little further until it reaches the $15 mark. In late February, he told “PBS News Hour” that the length of the time period will be up for discussion.
In 2018, Tester received 50.3 percent of the vote to win reelection. In 2016 and 2020, Trump carried the state by 20 and 16 percent, respectively.
Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware) (D-Del.)
Carper represents one of the most pro-business states in the world, and he has expressed reservations about the $1.9 trillion price tag of the relief bill.
He told The Hill on Thursday, “That’s a lot of money.” “I used to be Delaware’s treasurer.
According to a report released last month by the Congressional Budget Office, increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will raise the federal budget deficit by $53 billion over ten years.
A $15 minimum wage, according to the CBO, will result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs by 2025.
Sen. Chris Coons is a member of the United States Senate (D-Del.)
Coons is one of Biden’s closest Senate allies and an eloquent spokesperson for the president’s reform agenda, but in pro-business Delaware, he must still consider his constituents’ interests.
According to the Delaware Department of Labor, the minimum wage in Delaware rose to $9.25 in October 2019, but the floor for tipped-wage jobs is $2.23 an hour.
Coons co-sponsored legislation in 2014 to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
He did not enter the Raise the Wage Act, which Sanders introduced in January and was co-sponsored by 37 Democrats.
Senator Angus King is a member of the United States Senate (I-Maine)
Since his election to the Senate in 2013, King has been a member of the Democratic caucus.
In recent days, he has worked behind the scenes to lower the income cutoff for individuals eligible for direct stimulus payments, assisting in the reduction of the full phaseout threshold from $100,000 in individual income — which House Democrats approved — to $80,000.
This week, King also expressed support for reducing federal unemployment insurance to $300 a week. A $400 weekly federal plus-up was preferred by President Biden and House Democrats.
In 2014, King voted in favor of increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
In January, Maine Public Radio announced that King supported raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, but did not quote him saying so.