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Senate Democrats immediately adopted the minimum wage “Plan B”



Senate Democrats are racing to finalize a new tax clause that will penalize large companies that pay low wages.After this move Senator Elizabeth MacDonald It was ruled on Thursday night that the $15 minimum wage increase cannot be included in the Senate’s COVID relief plan, which is currently being processed through the House of Representatives through a budget settlement process.

The plan drafted by an assistant to Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Oregon State Senate Finance Committee-in close consultation with the Vermont Senate budget chairman Bernie Sanders-will pay for those who have not paid workers a certain amount “Very large”

; companies impose a 5% payroll tax. . This amount is unclear: Wyden is in favor of $15 an hour, but is currently seeking feedback from fellow Democrats on this number and the companies that will face fines.

Senate Democratic aides told CBS News: “Everyone is thinking about’large’ companies, like Amazon Wal-Mart.”

According to the proposal, Senate Democrats hope to complete their work early next week, and small businesses that raise workers’ wages will be eligible for an income tax credit equivalent to 25% of their wages, which is a tax benefit of up to $10,00 per employer per year. increase salary.

The assistant said: “Basically, we take a self-contained approach to the big high-level companies and the carrot approach to the smallest small companies to encourage them to raise their wages,” the assistant said.

A few weeks ago, Democratic aides expected the Senate members to make an unfavorable ruling, so they began to quietly study the “Plan B” proposal. Tax penalties apply not only to large companies that pay low wages to their employees, but also to companies that hire contractors (such as security guards) who earn low wages for their work in the company.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (Nancy Pelosi) emphasized the importance of the minimum wage increase on Friday. He said at a press conference: “Only by passing a minimum wage of $15, we will take a break.”

One day after Sanders announced that it will revise its COVID relief plan, the move is “companies that deduct taxes from large, profitable companies that do not pay workers at least $15 an hour,” And provide incentives for small businesses. They need to raise wages.”

The White House acknowledged this new effort on Friday, but did not endorse or reject it. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One: “We have not reviewed this measure. Of course we know…but we have not reviewed it, and there is no final conclusion on the proposal.”

House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal’s house COVID relief bill does include a $15 federal minimum wage increase, and he is unwilling to consider it. Don’t want to be considered a second guess about what they are doing. “Neal said Friday.

Jason Furman, the former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, issued a warning. He said in a tweet: “This is a very large and complex new proposal. It is possible. It is also possible. Another tax version is also possible. But I am very nervous about trying such a new idea without review.”

Members of the House of Representatives are more enthusiastic about the tax proposal, but warn that it cannot replace a real minimum wage increase. “I am very supportive of everything we can do, but in the end, we promised to set the minimum wage at $15. Therefore, if the $15 minimum wage is not included in this package, we will have to find a way to get it through. To reform the obstructors, then we should reform the obstructors,” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) told reporters.

This tax measure will be included in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and must win the support of two moderate Democrats-Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kilston Senama of Arizona , They oppose the full levy of a $15 minimum wage COVID relief bill in Congress.

Republicans may oppose any proposal involving new taxes, even if these penalties only apply to the largest companies in the United States. On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the proposal “stupid.” Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania slammed the proposal as “wealth redistribution and social engineering. This is A bad idea.”

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Friday that including the increase in the minimum wage, “for progressives in the House of Representatives, “has made progress in the negotiation of this process.”

“I think Senator Sanders tried to include something at the last minute, which is right, because the fact of the matter is that these negotiations, the entire package of negotiations, are based on a minimum of $15 for many people. Wages. “

Ocasio-Cortez also challenged Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had expressed opposition to raising the minimum wage to $15, but It is recommended to increase the minimum wage to $11 an hour.

Ocasio-Cortez said: “His own voters in West Virginia require a minimum wage of $15. Therefore, I can’t even see the leg on which he is standing. Most people disagree.” A poll conducted in February by the One Fair Wage Coalition, an organization that supports minimum wage increases, found that 63% of West Virginia people support before 2025 Raise the minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage is common across the country. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019 showed that 67% of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $15. It has even gained support in some red states. A poll initiative in Florida showed that the minimum wage will be raised to $15 by 2026. In the last election, more than 60% of voters supported the bill.

Some Republicans have noticed public support for minimum wage increases. On Friday, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri announced a proposal requiring companies with revenues of more than $1 billion to pay their employees $15 an hour.

According to Hawley’s plan, small business employees earning less than $15 an hour will be eligible to receive “blue collar bonuses” in the form of automatic tax credits. Holly said: “Large companies can pay workers 15 dollars per hour, which is a long time, but this should not come at the cost of struggling small businesses.

Sarah Ewall-Wice provided the report.


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