WATCH: Elizabeth Warren Says VP Kamala Harris Should Ignore $15 Minimum Wage Ruling and Force Into Covid Relief Bill
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said that Vice President Kamala Harris should disregard the ruling that says the $15 an hour minimum wage cannot be included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, the “American Rescue Plan.”
At a press conference to unveil her wealth tax legislation, Sen. Warren took several questions about doing away with the filibuster, and repeatedly told reporters that Democrats must not “give Mitch McConnell a veto” over Democratic priorities that are very popular with voters, and expressed confidence that the longer McConnell’s obstruction continued, the more likely reticent senators like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would come around to ending the 60-vote threshold for legislation.
More controversially, Warren joined progressive House members in calling on VP Harris to ignore Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s ruling that the $15 an hour minimum wage provision does not meet the requirements for inclusion in a reconciliation bill — the process that would allow the bill to pass with only 50 votes instead of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.
“Do you agree with some of your House colleagues that the vice president should overrule the parliamentarian when it comes to the inclusion of the minimum wage in the covet relief package?” Warren was asked.
“I agree,” Sen. Warren replied without hesitation, then quickly added “But understand, the only reason that we’re in this mess is because of the filibuster. if we would get rid of the filibuster, then we wouldn’t have to keep trying to force the camel through the eye of the needle.”
“Instead, we would do what the majority of Americans want us to do,” she continued. “And in this particular case, that’s raise the minimum wage.”
Asked whether President Bide should “encourage the vice president to take that action then, in the short term?”, Warren replied “I think we should get rid of the filibuster. Yes, I think this is a short-term solution, but the real solution is get rid of the filibuster.”
Moments later, Warren was asked if the dustup over the parliamentarian reflects a strategy to use the popularity of the minimum wage hike to overcome procedural hurdles like the filibuster, Warren interrupted and said “Look, I don’t want a strategy, I want us to get rid of the filibuster because it is too costly to America.”
“The piece in front of us right now is the minimum wage, but 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,” Warren said, and cited infrastructure as well.
“So if we want to deliver on our promises, we’ve got to be willing to get out there and fight for it, and that starts with getting rid of the filibuster,” Warren said.
Watch above via Senator Elizabeth Warren.
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