On February 15, 2021, Stites & Harbison, PLLC issued a client alert regarding the status of the proposed $15 minimum wage increase to be included in the “American Rescue Plan” for COVID-19 relief, and discussed the role the parliamentarian would likely play. Thursday evening, February 25, 2021, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the proposal was not appropriate for inclusion in the relief package using the budgetary reconciliation process.
While disappointing for some, the Democratic leadership will likely not give up on the goal to increase the minimum wage to $15. Currently being debated are options including redoing the legislation, dropping the wage increase for the American Rescue Plan, or trying to override the parliamentarian’s ruling. However, the White House has indicated that it respects the role of the parliamentarian and is not interested in challenging the decision or process.
We will continue to monitor this issue in the coming days and weeks to keep everyone updated on its progress through the House and Senate.