Late Sunday afternoon, the Washington Post ran an OpEd by editorial writer James Downie asserting that Democrats can't back down on the minimum wage. Three hours later, that column was joined by a news item: Senior Democrats abandon backup plan on $15 per hour minimum wage hike. I wonder how much pressure Biden had to apply to Schumer to get that result. Probably not that much.
Downie had written how Biden's spokesperson was on State of the Union yesterday lying her ass off about how the president "is absolutely committed to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour." Sure he is... if it's served up on a silver platter. But fight for it? NOT.A.CHANCE. A living wage for working people has never been nd will never be a Joe Biden priority. And if the only way to get it would be to push an end to the filibuster, well... come on, Biden would rather see working class families living in tents than give up the legislative filibuster. Priorities.
"The Sanders-Wyden proposal," wrote Downie, "must only be a down payment on a future wage raise. Twenty years ago, when a parliamentarian ruled against Republican efforts to pass tax cuts by reconciliation in an evenly divided Senate, the GOP replaced him. Democrats may believe they have good reasons not to follow that example, but one way or the other, they need to get this done. Failure risks sending a dangerous message that they simply don’t prioritize a living wage for all Americans the way Republicans do tax cuts for the wealthiest. Moreover, a $15 minimum wage is more than good politics. It’s more than good policy. It’s a test of whether Democrats can deliver on the trust voters have placed with them to overcome Washington dysfunction and move the country forward."
Without the end of-- or serious reform to-- the filibuster the only way to keep the minimum wage promise to millions of Democratic voters would have been the bandaid Bernie and Ron Wyden were offering, the so-called "Pan B." But that's what Biden shit-canned yesterday. Jeff Stein wrote how the Dems are giving up on that "encountering numerous practical and political challenges in drafting their proposal over the weekend." Sure, but mostly Biden, Biden and Biden. And more Biden. That isn't how the White House is spinning it... not at all. It's everyone's fault bit their own. "Economists and tax experts have said that the tax outlined by Sanders and Wyden could be easily avoided and difficult to implement, with large corporations able to reclassify workers as contractors to avoid potential penalties. 'I would be extremely nervous about trying out a brand new idea like this with virtually no vetting,' Jason Furman, a former Obama administration economist, said on Twitter on Friday. Wyden and Sanders were also expected to face an uphill battle in convincing the entire Senate Democratic caucus to support a proposal they would have only days to draft. The White House has also not indicated support for the corporate tax penalty idea."
Instead, the deceitful sack of garbage I sure didn't vote for to be president-- not in the primary and certainly not in the general-- will have the Democrats take a "messaging" vote on the minimum wage and then whine about the Republicans killing it.
"Democrats’ retreat from the backup," wrote Stein, "leaves uncertain whether the stimulus plan will have any measures to directly raise the pay of minimum wage workers, a long-standing priority of the party and Biden. Democratic leaders agree they want to have Biden sign the stimulus into law before unemployment benefits expire for millions in mid-March, meaning there is little time for an alternative plan to emerge. The United States has never gone longer without raising the federal minimum wage in the history of the eight-decade law. Sanders has said he will seek other measures for approving a $15 an hour minimum wage." But not the two ways to actually do it-- end the legislative filibuster or fight like your life depended on it to get it done. Not Joe "nothing will fundamentally change" Biden. Instead he released a messaging video praising unions just as the news of his betrayal of workers and of unions' #1 priority broke.