White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden is still committed to raising the minimum wage to $15 after a Senate rules expert cut the provision out of the COVID-19 relief package.
“He can’t do it on his own, but he is absolutely committed to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Psaki said.
The latest COVID-19 relief bill is currently being pushed through Congress by Democrats with no Republican support. Democrats are using the budget reconciliation process to avoid needing any Republican backing, which requires a simple majority in the Senate, instead of the usual 60-vote threshold.
However, last week the chief parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage increase cannot be included in the relief bill, stating that its inclusion goes against the rules of the budget process. Vice President Kamala Harris, president of the Senate, said that she will not try to overrule the decision.
Psaki stated that Biden plans to continue working towards an increase in the minimum wage by “working with Democrats and Republicans,” although Democrats have basically cut out all Republicans from the pandemic relief package and attempted to push the provision through without their support.
“He thinks it’s long overdue. He believes that men and women who are working hard, trying to make ends meet, should have, should not be living at the poverty level. And we’re going to spend the next few days and weeks looking for the best path forward, working with Democrats and Republicans, hopefully, to do exactly that,” the Press Secretary said on Sunday.
Two Republican senators introduced a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $10 by 2025, although it is unclear whether it will gain any support between Democrats.