Federal Spotlight: Minimum Wage Increase Sought in Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill

February 11, 2021

Democratic leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate are seeking to include a $15 federal minimum wage increase in the next COVID-19 aid package. The proposed increase, which would more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25, would be phased in over a period of time. However, because Democrats are using budget reconciliation, a procedural tool that allows them to pass certain budget measures with a simple majority vote, particular policies cannot fit underneath that procedure.

The ultimate determination will come from the Senate parliamentarian who will play an outsized role in this Congress because of efforts like this and the Senate being tied at 50-50. Regardless of whether or not a minimum wage increase can be included under budget reconciliation, Democrats can’t afford to lose one vote and are already running into resistance from some moderates concerning the size of the proposed increase. Read more from CNBC