Sully on decades-long standstill on raising the minimum wage
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Democrats’ hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their huge COVID-19 relief bill seem all but dead.
That’s become clear as Senate leaders prepare to bring their own version of the House-passed aid package to the chamber’s floor as early as Wednesday.
Aides say top Democrats have abandoned a potential amendment threatening tax increases on big companies that don’t boost workers’ pay to certain levels. Last week the Senate parliamentarian said the chamber’s rules forbade inclusion of a straight-out minimum wage increase in the relief measure.
For now, Democrats seem to have exhausted their most realistic options for quickly salvaging the pay hike.
A 2019 study from the Congressional Budget Office projected that an increase to $15 an hour would boost the wages of 17 million Americans. An additional 10 million workers making more than $15 an hour would see a boost as well. However, about 1.3 million workers would lose their jobs.
“There’s no question that raising the minimum wage, especially to $15, will put some small businesses out of business and will cost a lot of low-wage workers their jobs,” said Neil Bradley, the chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“An increase in minimum wage seems like a great intention, but a bad idea,” KUSI Contributor and AM 760 radio host Sully Sullivan Sully on Good Morning San Diego.