Sanders To Force Vote On Minimum Wage

( Senator Bernie Sanders is forging forward with efforts to pass a $15 minimum wage, even though the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it can’t be included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion economic relief bill.

On Monday, Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said that Democrats should “ignore” the parliamentarian’s ruling. He said he has plans to try to force the Senate to vote on an amendment to the relief bill that would include the massive minimum wage hike.

The independent Senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats said he wouldn’t back down on his demand for a minimum wage hike. This is despite the fact that Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate Parliamentarian, said a provision that would set the federal minimum wage at $15 per hour wouldn’t be eligible to be passed via budget reconciliation.

Democrats need that process, too, so they can pass the relief bill by a simple majority rather than the normal 60 votes that’s required to avoid a filibuster.

But, Sanders told reporters:

“My personal view is that the idea that we have a Senate staffer, a high-ranking staffer, deciding whether 30 million Americans get a pay raise or not is nonsensical. We have got to make that decision, not a staffer who’s unelected, so my own view is that we should ignore the rulings, the decision of the parliamentarian.

“Given the enormous crises facing this country and the desperation of working families, we have got to as soon as possible end the filibuster. We cannot have a minority of members define what the American people want.”

Sanders further said he plans to force a vote on the minimum wage increase. He said:

“To the best of my knowledge, there will be a vote on the minimum wage, and we’ll see what happens. I intend to offer the bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and we’ll see how the votes go.

“If we fail in this legislation, I will be back. We are going to keep going. We are going to raise that minimum wage very shortly to $15 an hour.”

Another ultra-progressive, high-profile Democrat is all for what Bernie’s serving up — Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. The failed presidential candidate said:

“Understand, the only reason that we’re in this mess is because of the filibuster. If we would get rid of the filibuster, then we wouldn’t have to keep trying to force the camel through the eye of the needle.

“Instead, we would do what the majority of Americans want us to do, and in this particular case, that’s raise the minimum wage.”

The comments from both Sanders and Warren seem to ignore the fact that, even if there were no filibuster in place in the Senate, it’s very possible that their minimum wage hike wouldn’t pass. In addition to having just about every Republican opposed to the idea, there are some centrist Democrats who don’t like it, either.

You have to question, then, why Warren and Sanders will apparently ignore official rulings of the Senate — as well as the wishes of some in her own party — to try to force a vote on something that most likely won’t pass anyway.