Joe Manchin Schedules Meeting With $15/Hour Minimum Wage Advocacy Group
West Virginia Senator Joe Machin, the most conservative Democrat in the United States Senate, has scheduled a meeting with the Poor People’s Campaign, a group that advocates for a $15 per hour federal minimum wage as well as an array of other social justice issues.
Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema are the only two Senate Democrats that have publicly expressed skepticism over the viability of more than doubling the federal minimum wage, although they have not opposed it entirely.
The Poor People’s Campaign had scheduled a protest outside Manchin’s state office for Monday, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.
“The demand for $15/hour is as big a fight as the one for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s,” the protest’s event page reads. “A relief bill must include relief that helps the people who need it the most—the 140 million poor and low-income people who live in this country, a number that has only increased in a pandemic.”
But on Monday afternoon, the Poor People’s Campaign announced that Manchin had requested a meeting, signaling that the Senator may be open to having his mind changed on the matter.
INBOX: Sen. Joe Manchin has asked to meet w/Poor People's Campaign, which is pushing Congress to include a $15/hour minimum wage in COVID relief.
PPC co-chair is Rev. William Barber, who preached at Biden's inaugural prayer service and planned to protest outside Machin's office. pic.twitter.com/a5IGAhcz59
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) February 15, 2021
President Joe Biden has included the long-overdue minimum wage boost in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus proposal, known as the American Rescue Plan.
Senate Democrats, who hold a one-seat voting majority in the chamber, need a consensus among their caucus in order to send a future bill to Biden’s desk because Republicans cannot be trusted to do the right thing for millions of American workers who live in poverty.