Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I., Vt.) proposed amendment to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 failed in the Senate on Friday, with seven Democrats and one independent joining Republicans in voting down the measure.
Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D., N.H.), Chris Coons (D., Del.) Tom Carper (D., Del.) and Angus King (I., Maine.) voted against an attempt to waive a procedural objection against adding the wage hike to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
“If anybody thinks that we’re giving up on this issue, they are sorely mistaken. If we have to vote on it time and time again, we will and we’re going to succeed,” Sanders said after the vote. “The American people understand that we cannot continue to have millions of people working for starvation wages.”
Sanders said he wasn’t surprised by the number of Democrats who voted against the amendment, saying, “We knew exactly what was happening.”
Passing the amendment would have prevented the entire relief package from passing with a simple majority vote, as the parliamentarian ruled that the wage hike violated the Byrd Rule, which says anything passed during budget reconciliation must have to do with the federal budget.
However, Republican support would have been needed in order to meet the 60 votes required to waive the procedural objection, thus the moderate Democrats’ defection was not ultimately needed to prevent the amendment from being added to the bill.