ELEVEN HOURS LATER: The Senate has yet to call the minimum wage vote as Democrats ready their new jobless benefit amendment for prime time.
The chamber is mostly empty.
And 11 hours and 50 minutes later, the Senate finishes the vote on the first amendment to the Covid relief bill.
"Voting will resume shortly," @SenSchumer says. "Now that this agreement has reached we are going to power through the rest of this process and get this bill done."
McConnell mocks Democrats for their internal divisions that forced this delay. "What this proves is there are benefits to bipartisanship," he says. As majority leader, McConnell pursued partisan votes (unsuccessfully) for ACA repeal and (successfully) on a major tax overhaul.
NOW: @BernieSanders is introducing an amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour in the Covid relief bill.
It doesn't have 50 votes at this stage and it's subject to being removed under reconciliation rules. But it looks like he intends to put every senator on the record.
Bernie Sanders, making the case for a $15 minimum wage, argues that some Americans are "giving up on democracy and moving toward authoritarianism" out of desperation, because the government keeps passing economic policies that ignore their needs and makes rich people richer.
"I think the parliamentarian was dead wrong," @BernieSanders says of the minimum wage ruling, decrying the "absurd process that we allow an unelected staffer" in the Senate to decide "whether 30 million Americans get a pay raise or not."
That’s according to two sources familiar with the Senate Democrats’ new plan. It keeps the $1,400 topline number for checks, per Biden’s promise, but phases them out much faster above the $75K/$150K incomes.
Warren on the filibuster: “The piece in front of us right now is the minimum wage. The piece that's coming up is the Voting Rights Act. And the piece after that is immigration reform. And another piece is universal child care. The infrastructure package.” nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
Biden’s filibuster position hasn’t changed, per White House official who points me to broad support for his nominations as sign of cooperation.
Some Dems say his overtures will only waste time as Rs run Obama-era playbook of unifying to weaken the prez. nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
.@RoKhanna + 22 House Dems call on White House to ignore the parliamentarian and allow a $15 wage in the Covid bill.
A Senate expert tells me @VP has the power do this—and it'd take 60 votes to overrule her—but that it's never been done on Byrd rule.
WH has rejected this call.
What @RoKhanna et al. are calling for is @VP to *ignore* the parliamentarian by issuing a ruling that the $15 wage complies. The parl. is an adviser and has no power to rule; the presiding officer rules and VP can preside. Hence this scenario doesn’t require a vote to *overrule.*
In any event, the other problem for Democrats pushing a $15 wage end-run around the parliamentarian is that even if they clear the rules hurdle, they lack 50 Senate votes for the policy.
It's 8 o'clock on a Friday night and the House Rules Committee still hasn't sent the Covid-19 relief bill to the floor for a vote. Chairman Jim McGovern is rapidly running out of f@$&s to give, racing through votes on Republican amendments with each one getting rejected.
Rules Committee votes to send Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill to the House floor.
As Dems finalize the report, @TomColeOK04 asks the chair: "Should I have a short or long cigar?"
He says Cole isn't managing it so it doesn't matter.
Next up: A vote in the full chamber.
219-210, House officially votes to proceed to Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid bill on the floor.
NEW: Senate parliamentarian rules that Democrats cannot put $15 minimum wage in Covid relief under the reconciliation rules, all but dooming the effort in this legislation. nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
And this is when the filibuster wars seriously begin.
Chuck Schumer is "deeply disappointed." Lindsey Graham is "very pleased." Bernie Sanders is befuddled and calls for using tax deductions to push big corporations to pay at least $15/hr in the Covid package to get around the rules.
Did a wide-ranging interview with Rep. Murphy on the unusual stakes for 2022, how Democrats should govern and her theory for how they can avoid the midterm curse. The political survival of her coalition's members could decide the fight for House control.
So the $15 wage is in Biden’s Covid relief bill headed to the House floor next week. But he’s predicting it won’t survive. Why? He says it’ll likely get stripped out in the Senate under the “Byrd rule” that limits reconciliation to budget changes, i.e. spending and taxes.
Bernie Sanders, the Budget Committee chairman, and Chuck Schumer disagree. They’re crafting a case to the parliamentarian that it should be allowed. But there’s a decent chance she disagrees. nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
NEW: Democrats introduce a sweeping bill to remake the US immigration system, backed by Joe Biden. It includes a path to citizenship for "Dreamers" and others here illegally, eliminates hurdles for legal immigration and replaces "alien" with "noncitizen."
This is significant. The House is on track to pass a $15 wage in the Covid bill. If it survives the Byrd rule then a federal minimum wage hike becomes likely. Senate Democrats aren’t all on board with $15/hour but they unanimously want to raise the current floor of $7.25/hour.
And in that case, which Democrat is going to want to stand up and wage a fight against $15, which according to polls has 2-to-1 public support and 80-85% support w/Dem voters?
For those citing Manchin and Sinema—this is where the process matters. If the parliamentarian rules a minimum wage is noncompliant, it’s probably over. Those two credibly say they won’t overrule her. But if it complies, their only leverage is to shoot down the entire Covid bill.
The vote by 43 of 50 Republicans to acquit Trump shows the deep and enduring hesitation in the party to disown Trumpism, however they justify it. Senators know their voters care about how they vote, not the caveats they later add in a speech or statement.
President Biden put a $15 wage in his Covid bill but he's backing away by saying it'll likely die under Senate rules. Bernie Sanders isn't happy—he says the policy is eligible for reconciliation and that it's now or never.