The House just passed a Covid relief bill and Senate Democrats are about to consider and act on the same legislation. Absent a minimum wage provision, the House bill will likely pass more or less pass in tact in the Senate with no Republican support.
Could the Senate ignore the Senate parliamentarian who declared that the provision wasn’t germane to the covid relief bill? They could, but the fact is that there are not enough votes on the Democratic side – forget about the other side – to get to 50, which would then give VP Kamala Brandon Harris, if disposed, the opportunity to break the tie.
So what to do? Pass the bill without the $15 provision and then low wage workers and their allies in and out of the labor movement can use the defeat of the minimum wage provision (and opposition to the 60 vote rule in the Senate) to take their campaign to a new level. Such a campaign, which should include mass mobilizations in DC as well across the country (forget about a general strike, which is easy to pontificate about, but a monster to do on a mass level) could give Biden and Congressional Democrats a chance to “make them do it,” not to mention favorably position themselves in next year’s elections.
If we learned anything from the Obama years, it is that observers of the legislative process are almost inevitably going to be disappointed by that process. But who’s fault is that? Biden? Pelosi? I don’t think so!