Pelosi Says COVID Relief Bill Will Include $15 Minimum Wage

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    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the COVID-relief bill the House will send to the Senate will have a $15 minimum wage included.

    During a weekly press conference, Pelosi said the House plans to have their COVID-relief bill completed by the end of February and on President Joe Biden’s desk by March 14, when some unemployment benefits expire. Pelosi also confirmed that the House bill will include a $15 minimum wage.

    “We hope to finish our markups in committee this week and then send it to the Budget Committee next week for them to work their will on it. Then to the Rules Committee and then to the floor. And we hope to have this all done by the end of February,” Pelosi said during her presser.

    “Certainly on the President’s desk in time to offset the March 14th deadline where some unemployment benefits will expire,” she added.

    Pelosi was then asked about the $15 minimum wage being included in the House bill, to which she said: “Yes it will. We’re very proud of that…We will be sending that.”

    A study released in 2019 by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showed House Democrats’ proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would most likely leave 1.3 million Americans jobless by 2025.

    The study showed that prices would soar as businesses would have to force their higher labor costs onto consumers.

    Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in early February that he does not support a $15 minimum wage.

    Manchin’s opposition would put a roadblock in a coronavirus package, which could include raising the minimum wage to $15 if no Republicans supported the legislation. Democrats need all 50 members in the Senate to vote in favor if no Republicans are on board.
    The minimum wage in the U.S. has been $7.25 per hour since 2009.