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$15 minimum wage not allowed in Covid relief bill, Senate official rules

Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins Kristin Myers to break down the latest on President Biden's $1.9T stimulus package, as the Senate rules $15 minimum wage can not be included in the plan.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: But let's start with what's happening on the Hill today. Wage hike proponents suffering a setback after a Senate parliamentarian said that the provision could not be included in the stimulus bill. We have Yahoo Finance's Chief Political Correspondent Jessica Smith here with more details. Hey, Jess.

JESSICA SMITH: Hey, Kristin. Yeah, this was a big blow to Democrats who were hoping to use this relief bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. But the House is moving forward today. The House will consider this $1.9 trillion relief plan later today. Timing is still up in the air. It's looking like it would be later this evening.

And the bill is going to have the minimum wage hike in it. The House is going to leave it up to the Senate to take that proposal out of the bill. The White House has indicated it is not interested in trying to override the parliamentarian's decision that this is not allowed in the COVID relief bill.

So now some senators are starting to flow different ideas of ways they can make businesses raise wages for their workers. Senator Bernie Sanders said that he is going to propose an amendment to the relief bill that would end deductions for companies that don't pay their workers $15 an hour. That will be for large companies. And then he also wants to offer incentives for small businesses to raise their wages.

Senator Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has also proposed a plan. He wants a 5% tax penalty on big corporations that don't pay their workers enough. He also wants a tax credit for small businesses that do pay their workers more. And then finally, Republican Senator Josh Hawley says he's going to introduce legislation that would require companies making more than $1 billion in revenue each year to pay their workers $15 an hour.

At this point, it's not clear if any of these proposals could get 50 votes. Even if the Senate parliamentarian had not ruled against Democrats, it was going to be really tricky for them to get this done. Two Democrats had already said that they opposed a $15 minimum wage hike in the relief bill. So now we'll see what Senate Democrats come up with and if they can build the support they need to get this through without any Republican help. Kristin?

KRISTIN MYERS: All right. Chief Political Correspondent Jessica Smith, thanks as always for those details. Of course, we'll be keeping an eye on that stimulus bill. And I know markets will as well.