Vote to Reinsert $15 Minimum Wage in Stimulus Bill Fails

Led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the effort to get the $15 minimum wage provisions back into President Biden's COVID-Relief package falls short in the Senate.

picture of $7.25 in cash and coin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Efforts to increase the federal minimum wage failed once again, as the Senate rejected an attempt to add language that would increase the minimum wage to the massive COVID-relief bill working its way through Congress. On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered an amendment to the bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. However, the amendment was voted down by a 58 to 42 count.

To pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package without support from Republicans, Democratic lawmakers are applying rarely used budget reconciliation rules to enact the plan. Under these rules, legislation can be passed in the Senate with a simple majority vote, instead of the 60 votes normally needed to avoid a filibuster, but only provisions that "change spending or revenues" can be included in a reconciliation bill. On February 25, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage provisions in the COVID-relief bill do not satisfy that standard.

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.