Some Common Sense From The Senate

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the vote in the Senate to raise the minimum wage to $15 and hour. You may remember that the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the wage increase could not be added to the bill. Well, Senator Bernie Sanders went ahead and forced the vote anyway.

The article reports:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday forced a vote on increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 through President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill, but it failed, with strong opposition among Democrats.

The Senate voted 58-42 against the idea, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would lift 900,000 people out of poverty but cause another 1.4 million people to lose their jobs due to higher business operating costs.

Seven Democrats and one independent who caucuses with Democrats — Sen. Angus King of Maine — opposed the Sanders amendment in a procedural vote.

Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Jon Tester of Montana voted against the measure, as did all Republicans.

The number of Democratic defections was a surprise and many of those voting “no” did not immediately explain their stance.

The article explains why the minimum wage increase was removed from the bill:

The minimum wage hike was included in the House-passed version of the bill, but the Senate parliamentarian ordered it removed for not complying with the narrow rules for budget reconciliation that allow bills to pass the Senate with a bare majority rather than the usual 60-vote supermajority.

Raising the minimum wage on the federal level does not make sense. A wage of $15 an hour in New York City is very different from a wage of $15 an hour in a small town. The cost of living obviously varies in different areas of the country. The vote is, however, a indication that some of the more radical ideas the Democrats want to put in place may face opposition. That is a good thing.