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Sen. Bernie Sanders' last-ditch effort to re-attach a $15 minimum wage provision to the Senate coronavirus relief package failed Friday morning after 8 members of the Democratic caucus joined all 50 Republicans in voting down the Vermont senator's amendment.
"Are you on the side of the working people in America who desperately need a raise? Or are you on the side of the wealthy and the powerful who want to continue exploiting their workers and paying starvation wages? It ain't more complicated than that."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Those who voted against Sanders' amendment were Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).
"Every single Dem who voted against a $15 minimum wage should be primaried," declared Krystal Ball, host of HillTV's "Rising."
In a floor speech ahead of the vote, Sanders (I-Vt.) said that "in my view, it all comes down to this: Which side are you on?"
"Are you on the side of the working people in America who desperately need a raise? Or are you on the side of the wealthy and the powerful who want to continue exploiting their workers and paying starvation wages?" the Vermont senator asked. "It ain't more complicated than that."
Sanders' attempt to add the federal minimum wage increase to the coronavirus relief package via the amendment process came after the Senate parliamentarian—an unelected official with zero constitutional authority—issued an advisory opinion that deemed the proposed pay hike a violation of budget reconciliation rules.
After the White House made clear that Vice President Kamala Harris would not be willing to exercise her authority to override the parliamentarian's advice, Senate Democrats removed the $15 minimum wage provision from their version of the coronavirus relief bill.
"Because of an unfortunate and misguided decision by the parliamentarian, this reconciliation bill does not include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour," Sanders said on the Senate floor Friday. "In my view, an unelected staffer in the Senate should not be in charge of determining whether 32 million workers in America receive a raise."