Yesterday the Senate parliamentarian ruled that, after an objection to the $15 minimum wage using the Byrd Rule, that the minimum wage increase could not be included in the COVID package because it doesn’t meet the reconciliation restrictions.
Well that sent Democrats into a frenzy, with some of them demanding that Kamala Harris to overrule the Senate parliamentarian, which they say she could technically do:
Abolish the filibuster.
Replace the parliamentarian.
What’s a Democratic majority if we can’t pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 26, 2021
I’m sorry—an unelected parliamentarian does not get to deprive 32 million Americans the raise they deserve.
This is an advisory, not a ruling. VP Harris needs to disregard and rule a $15 minimum wage in order.
We were elected to deliver for the people. It’s time we do our job. https://t.co/rraVhT5GV7
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) February 26, 2021
Reminder: as the Senate's presiding officer, Vice President Kamala Harris can overrule the Senate Parliamentarian and keep the $15 minimum wage in the COVID relief bill.
For the sake of millions of struggling American workers, she must.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 26, 2021
It’s already been reported today that Harris isn’t going to do what Democrats are demanding of her:
Kamala Harris won't weigh in on minimum wage ruling from Senate parliamentarian: Deese https://t.co/pwp2IOKrAf
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) February 26, 2021
Brian Deese, a top economic adviser to President Biden, said Friday that Vice President Kamala Harris will not move to overturn a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian that increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour is out of bounds for Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
“The vice president’s not going to weigh in,” Mr. Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said on CNBC. “The president and the vice president both respect the parliamentarian’s decision and the process.”
“We don’t agree with it; we’re disappointed by it,” Mr. Deese said. “But we’ll respect that process.”
I’m sure Democrats are spitting mad over this report, but even if they changed their minds and did overrule the parliamentarian, it wouldn’t work anyway. As Tommy Christopher explains:
But as many people pointed out to Khanna, Harris’ ruling would then be subject to appeal by a simple majority vote, and there are at least two Democratic senators — Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — who have publicly indicated they do not support this kind of maneuver, or the $15-an-hour minimum wage.
In other words, Democrats just don’t have the votes to pass the $15/hr minimum wage in the Senate even among their own. End of story.