To the fury of leftists legislators and activists, Vice President Kamala Harris has abruptly ended any hope that she will step in to overrule the Senate parliamentarian to keep the $15 per hour minimum wage provision in the Biden administration’s COVID-19 stimulus bill.
The Senate is currently working to move the enormous relief bill through budget reconciliation to avoid Republican filibuster and the need for a 60-vote supermajority for approval. The process has led to the removal of Biden’s proposed $15 per hour minimum wage hike, with a Vice President Harris overrule the only way to potentially keep it.
California Democrat Representative Ro Khanna tweeted his push for Harris to intervene:
I’m sorry—an unelected parliamentarian does not get to deprive 32 million Americans the raise they deserve.
This is an advisory, not a ruling. VP Harris needs to disregard and rule a $15 minimum wage in order.
We were elected to deliver for the people. It’s time we do our job. https://t.co/rraVhT5GV7
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) February 26, 2021
Several leftist groups organized a Friday rally at the White House to urge Harris to challenge the minimum wage policy change. Among those in attendance include One Fair Wage and the Center for Popular Democracy.
The White House, however, has already signaled it does not intend for the vice president to move on the issue. White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese directly tweeted, “The Vice President is not going to weigh in.”
Even if Harris did overrule, it is not clear whether her efforts would lead to keeping the $15 per hour minimum wage hike. Some Democrats have already opposed including the measure in the COVID-19 relief bill, recommending the change in order to quickly pass the law.
Harris claims to be for the working people of America, but her lack of involvement in the minimum wage debate indicates otherwise. Those looking for real economic help would be much better under leadership focused on removing government restrictions rather than hiding pet projects in stimulus bills.