Prior to the early January special election in Georgia, Mitch McConnell was the most powerful person in the US senate. Now that the power has flipped, though, moderate lawmakers like Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Joe Manchin have become key players.
Manchin, who is a Democrat in a deeply red state, doesn’t always go along with his liberal counterparts. And that has been the case so far on the new COVID-19 stimulus package.
The West Virginia senator did say on Tuesday that he is willing to pass budget reconciliation. This would allow his party to pass stimulus legislation without Republican votes. At the same time, Manchin said he is against a $15 minimum wage, stating that $11 would be fine for his state.
Manchin said in a statement, “Let me be clear – and these are words I shared with President Biden – our focus must be targeted on the COVID-19 crisis and Americans who have been most impacted by this pandemic. The President remains hopeful that we can have bipartisan support moving forward. I will only support proposals that will get us through and end the pain of this pandemic.”
Joe Biden has included a federal minimum wage increase in his package. Erik Wasson of Bloomberg tweets, “MANCHIN updated: He tells @jordainc that he does in fact oppose the $15 minimum wage proposal on table. Says $11 makes sense in his state.”
MANCHIN updated: He tells @jordainc that he does in fact oppose the $15 minimum wage proposal on table. Says $11 makes sense in his stateSee Also
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) February 2, 2021
West Virginia’s 16% poverty rate makes it the 6th most impoverished state in the country.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.