House Democrat Says POTUS Committed to ‘Getting a $15 Minimum Wage Passed’
Millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after President Joe Biden signed into law his $1.9 trillion American Recovery Plan containing the third round of stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and other COVID-19-related financial assistance.
What the final version of the bill did not contain, however, was a federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour because of inexplicable opposition by conservative Democratic United States Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – as well as a ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian that such a measure could not be included in the legislation due to certain budgetary rules.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, spoke to the president on Wednesday and revealed to Sirius XM Radio host Dean Obeidallah that the commander in chief said that he is committed to championing the fight for a $15 federal minimum wage.
“You’ve been one of the leaders fighting to raise the minimum wage, even when the parliamentarian of the Senate ruled against it, you’re still fighting, fighting. Fighting. What can you tell people listening–and it’s not just progressives, again polling shows a solid majority of Americans say it’s time for the minimum wage to go up. What could be done next? I know you got the filibuster, don’t get me wrong we understand that reality, but what can be done?” Obeidallah asked on The Dean Obeidallah Show.
“Well, you know, first I just have to say, I mean, I represent the cities, the city of Seattle, that was the first major city in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage back in 2014. I was on that committee appointed by the mayor to come up with what that solution was gonna be to get to 15, and we passed it,” Jayapal replied.
“It is, as you say, incredibly popular. Look at Florida, which passed a $15 minimum wage, phased in, which is what this is. This is phased in over four years, by the way, it is not 15 tomorrow, which is what you and I would like, but it is phased in over four years and then indexed so that it continues to increase every year to median wage after that,” she explained.
“We’re gonna continue to push because we have to deliver on this,” Jayapal pledged.
“If we don’t deliver on this, people are gonna stop trusting us, and because we said we would do this, and there’s no procedural excuse that we can take back to people and say oh I’m sorry,” Jayapal declared.
“I will just say one hopeful thing the President called me today to thank me for the work on the COVID bill and we talked about a $15 minimum wage and he again re-committed to me how committed he is to getting this done and getting it done quickly and getting a $15 minimum wage passed, and I believe him, Dean, and so we’re just going to have to go back at this and I think that we’re going to have some disappointments on bills that aren’t going to pass the Senate and then I think that is going to give us the opening to reform the filibuster,” she added.
Watch and listen below: