On Friday’s “America Reports,” host Sandra Smith reported that President Joe Biden told a group of Democrat mayors and governors that he didn’t expect the $15 minimum wage to make it through Congress as part of the latest COVID relief bill.
Not only could the provision fail to make it through budget reconciliation because of parliamentary problems, but it could also fail to get support from a few moderate Democrat senators like Joe Manchin (WV) because it could be a job killer and because of regional income differences, Smith said.
Contributor Brian Brenberg weighed in, “If you’re going to do anything on the minimum wage, it should be regional, so I think this is smart for the president to walk away from a national minimum wage.” Brenberg did say, however, that there are voices on the left like budget committee chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who really want a national minimum wage, and that Biden could have a fight on his hands from members of his own party.
Smith then pointed out that Biden didn’t even pay his own staffers $15 an hour during the campaign, as a scrolling chiron said that only 1.5 million American workers were paid the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which has been in place since 2009.
The conservative consensus seems to be that it is better to let wages rise naturally as businesses grow, which was happening nearly everywhere pre-pandemic, Smith pointed out.
See the full video clip here.