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Jayapal on Parliamentarian’s Ruling About $15 Minimum Wage

The White House and Senate can and should still include the minimum wage increase in the bill.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement on the Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling on the $15 minimum wage in the budget reconciliation package:

“I disagree strongly with the Senate Parliamentarian’s advisory ruling on the $15 minimum wage. As the recent CBO report showed, this provision would have a major budgetary impact and should be eligible for the budget reconciliation package. Let’s be clear: raising the minimum wage is COVID-19 relief.

“After more than 12 years since the last federal minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour, we cannot allow the advisory opinion of the parliamentarian and Republican obstructionism stand in the way of the promise we made to voters across this country: that we would give 27 million workers a long-overdue pay raise and lift one million people out of poverty during this economic crisis. The current federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. It keeps families trapped in poverty, erases the dignity of their work, and allows billionaires and big corporations to exploit workers. Workers need – and deserve – a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.

“The White House and Senate leadership can and should still include the minimum wage increase in the bill. We simply cannot go back to the Black, Brown, AAPI, Indigenous, poor and working class voters who delivered us the White House and the Senate majority and tell them that an unelected parliamentarian advised us – based on arcane rules – that we could not raise the minimum wage as we promised.

“The ruling only makes it more clear than ever that the Senate must reform its archaic rules, including reforming the filibuster to allow populist and necessary policies like the $15 minimum wage to pass with a majority of the Senate.

“Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 continues to be a top priority for House progressives. We worked hard with Democratic leadership to ensure it stayed in our House relief package and we look forward to voting for a bold relief package in the coming days that raises the wage for 27 million people. We will continue working with our Senate allies and the Biden Administration to pursue every avenue available to us to deliver on our promise and guarantee a minimum wage for all workers of $15 an hour, not a cent less.”