$15 Minimum Wage Bill Just Had its Day of Reckoning in the Senate

March for a $15 per hour minimum wage at the University of Minnesota by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0

American workers often don’t get the dignity and money they deserve.

This is especially true in industries that run on the minimum wage, from fast food and retail to restaurants and gas stations.

That’s part of why there’s been such a push to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour nationally.

Conservatives say it will just lead to a job slump and layoffs, progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont say it’s a must-do to keep the economy and working families afloat during these hard times.

Overall there’s high support for a minimum wage hike among voters and there’s plenty of support for it in the Democratic party.

But what just happened in the Senate has Democrats scratching their heads and going back over the damage to figure out exactly what happened.

After four years of blaming President Trump for everything that happened, progressives are finding out that their own party is actually far worse for workers than Trump ever was and they’re realizing what a mistake it was to vote for President Biden.

Fast food strike and protest for a $15 per hour minimum wage at the University of Minnesota by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Democrats: We Care About Workers But … Not Enough to Pay Them $15/Hour, C’mon Man!

Certain Democratic Senators like Montana’s Jon Tester and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin were already a definite no, since Manchin said he wouldn’t go above $11 an hour and Tester needs to keep support in a strong red state by being careful about how much he backs Democratic initiatives.

This was a perfect scenario for the rest of the Democrats to support a minimum wage hike to $15 and then when it failed to get the required 60 votes they could blame heartless Republicans, Manchin and Tester.

But they didn’t do that.

In addition to Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s no vote on the wage hike, but the five other Democrats who said no thanks to $15 are harder to figure out the motivations.

According to Sinema she’s all good on raising the minimum wage, but it shouldn’t be tacked onto the COVID relief bill. Leftists are not buying her argument, especially since without Manchin there’s not even enough votes to pass their own separate bill in the Senate to raise the minimum wage.

Having minimum wage put on as part of the process on the COVID relief bill was their one shot, so having centrists like Sinema now come out and literally give it a thumbs down is making some leftists furious.

Sorry Bernie

Despite his promises that they’ll find a way to get to $15 one way or another, this is a big hit for Bernie Sanders. With eight Democrats voting no on a popular measure to raise minimum wage, he’s left humiliated and with a furious progressive base that knows they would need 18 flipped votes to even pass a wage bill.

It’s technically possible, since Republicans are increasingly becoming a working class party and Florida, for example, recently hiked its state minimum wage to $15, but it’s still far from a sure thing.

However, Republicans coming on board to hand Biden a win on minimum wage in a standalone bill is not something that seems likely to happen at all during these politically fractured times, especially when Biden has done everything possible so far to alienate and provoke conservatives with his executive orders.

The result is that a minimum wage raise nationally is now back on the backburner. The Democrats have nothing to really point to in order to prove they stand up for workers or actually pass meaningful and positive legislation.

Perhaps that’s why their party spends so much time still complaining about President Trump and his supporters.