Schumer Mulls Penalty For Big Businesses That Don't Pay $15 Minimum Wage

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Feb 26, 2021 - 11:55 AM

As top Democrats defy their own Senate parliamentarian and forge ahead with a $15 minimum wage provision in the upcoming $1.9 trillion stimulus package - a provision which may kill the entire package thanks to opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and others, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is weighing a provision which would penalize big companies that don't pay workers at least $15 an hour, according to Bloomberg, citing a Democratic aide.

The idea had been floated earlier by two Senate committee chairs following the Senate parliamentarian's ruling that the minimum-wage proposal fell afoul of the rules for the legislative process which Congressional Democrats are using to advance Biden's aid bill, requiring that measures be primarily fiscal in nature.

Democrats are seeking a phased-in increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour.

On Thursday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats said they would keep the minimum wage hike in the latest COVID-19 relief package, saying in a statement:

"The ruling from the Senate parliamentarian is disappointing, because raising the minimum wage would give 27 million Americans a well-deserved raise and pull nearly one million Americans out of poverty in the middle of a once-in-a-century devastating pandemic and economic crisis."

The House plans to vote on the relief package on Friday. Whether it passes through the Senate with the $15 minimum wage is a toss-up, the failure of which would delay relief yet again.