Everything we can

It’s asking too much, though.

Democratic plans to include a gradual raise to $15 in Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill were effectively ended on Thursday when the Senate parliamentarian ruled it should not be part of the package.

Biden campaigned on a pledge to increase the minimum wage to $15. Low-wage workers and unions have campaigned for a rise since 2012, and its inclusion in the coronavirus stimulus bill had been seen as a major victory.

While the proposal faced universal opposition by Republican senators and skepticism from some Democrats, Senator Bernie Sanders and others were confident that it could be pushed through with a simple majority in the Senate, where the Democrats hold a slim majority.

Why skepticism from some Democrats? Why skepticism over paying workers halfway decently?

Other progressive Democrats have proposed a less drastic solution [than removing the parliamentarian] – overruling her.

“The Senate parliamentarian issues an advisory opinion,” congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said in a tweet. “The VP can overrule them – as has been done before. We should do EVERYTHING we can to keep our promise, deliver a $15 minimum wage, and give 27 million workers a raise.”

Total workers in the US are around 155 million, so 27 million is not a tiny fraction.

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