Congress debates raising national minimum wage to $15.00

Isabella Cicero, Reporter

Along with many other politicians in their party, President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders are pushing for a $15 minimum wage. Now that the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Package is about to be passed in the House of Representatives, what does this mean for raising the minimum wage to $15? (USA Today) 

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 ever since 2009 (CNBC). 

Rebublican Sen. Joni Enerest from Iowa resents the idea of raising the minimum wage to $15 during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “A $15 federal minimum wage would be devastating for our hardest-hit small businesses at a time when they could least afford it” (CNBC).

Sanders has expressed he would do everything he could to make sure the $15 minimum wage was included in the stimulus package. 

“It was never my intention to raise the minimum wage immediately during the pandemic,” Sanders told the Wall Street Journal. 

On March 5, all Republican Senators along with some Democratic Senators voted against Sanders $15 minimum wage proposal, meaning the minimum wage will not be included in the stimulus package (USA Today). 

The Democratic Senators who voted along with the Republicans were Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Sen. Jon Tester, Sen. Chris Coons, and Sen. Angus Kings (The Hill). 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has mentioned that raising the minimum wage is very high on the democratic party’s agenda (CNBC). 

Pelosi, besides stating that a $15 minimum wage is a high priority for her, also stated that just because it won’t be in the stimulus package it will happen, saying “There’s so much in this package that has to be done right now, and we’ll do the best we can,” (CNBC). 

The Democrats have a majority in the House and the Senate. They proceeded with the latest stimulus bill without the votes of Republican (CNBC). 

Sanders also added that the minimum wage effort will most likely be over the span of five years (CNBC).