Pelosi refuses to remove minimum wage hike from stimulus after parliamentarian rules it out of order
Nancy Pelosi AFP

On Thursday, following the decision by the Senate parliamentarian to rule the $15 an hour minimum wage increase out of order as part of the budget reconciliation process for COVID-19 stimulus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that her chamber will be holding a vote on the relief package tomorrow as is — with the minimum wage provision still in it.

"House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary," said Pelosi's statement. "Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the floor tomorrow. Democrats in the House are determined to pursue every possible path in the Fight For 15."

Even if the provision passes the House, it faces certain removal in the Senate, which could require the chambers to go to conference to reconcile the differences between what the House and Senate pass. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is confident the bill as a whole is still on track to passage.

Senate Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who played a key role in defending the validity of the minimum wage provision to the parliamentarian, is now also proposing an alternative provision that will revoke tax deductions from businesses that do not voluntarily raise the minimum wage. This would be more likely to comply with Senate budget rules, but would be more limited.