House Dems Advance $15 Minimum Wage Bill Despite Grim Job Loss Predictions

Connor Grant | February 10, 2021
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In a 27-21 vote cast along party lines Wednesday morning, the House Education and Labor Committee voted to approve their version of President Biden’s COVID relief bill, including a provision to up the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, despite a recent Congressional Budget Office report estimating that such a move would cost the United States over a million jobs.

During the meeting, which apparently took 13 hours of discussion and ended between 3 and 4 a.m., Democrats reportedly defeated dozens of Republican amendments including those aimed at stopping the minimum wage raise and opening schools faster. 

Rep. Illhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted her support of the committee's decision following the meeting.

This decision follows the release of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that found that while the increase could pull 900,000 Americans out of poverty, raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 could also result in 1.4 million jobs lost throughout the country.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) voiced his displeasure with his colleagues' decision, stating:

"Once again, Democrats are ignoring vulnerable, hardworking Americans, choosing instead to favor left wing special interests and those who support their radical agenda. Forcing children to miss out on a high-quality, in-person education while cherry picking the schools that receive relief and championing a job-destroying $15 national minimum wage hike is hardly 'bold relief.'"

The House of Representatives voted Friday to adopt an updated budget resolution that was passed in the Senate due to a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. The House voted 219-209 in favor of the budget resolution, which essentially allows the Democrats to ram Biden’s COVID relief bill through the House and Senate despite its lack of bipartisan support. Democrats will be able to pass the bill with a simple majority rather than the normal 60 votes required to stop a GOP filibuster under the resolution.