Connect with us


Sen. Sinema breaks with Democrats on $15 minimum wage



Screen Shot 2021 02 12 at 2.17.59 PM scaled

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) has broken with fellow Democrats on a federal $15 minimum wage that is included in President Joe Biden‘s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

“What’s important is whether or not it’s directly related to short-term Covid relief. And if it’s not, then I am not going to support it in this legislation,” Sinema told Politico in an interview this week.

With the U.S. Senate currently split 50-50, Democrats need all the votes they can get in order to pass the package through budget reconciliation, which Sinema, a moderate who was elected in 2018 and became the first Democrat to become a senator for Arizona since 1988, opposes doing for the minimum wage provision.

“The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process. It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there,” she also told Politico.

Her opposition to the provision, which Democrats and Biden campaigned for in 2020, could end up dooming the massive package.

Budget reconciliation is a tool that allows legislation to pass with a majority, circumventing the 60-vote filibuster threshold, which Democrats are using to force the bill through the Senate and to the Resolute desk. It should be noted, however, that this tool only pertains to bills dealing with budgetary matters.

However, amid recent calls from many Democrats to get rid of the age-old filibuster rule, Sinema told Politico that she wants to not only keep it, but to also rebuild it.

“There is no instance in which I would overrule a parliamentarian’s decision,” Sinema said. “I want to restore the 60-vote threshold for all elements of the Senate’s work.”

Sinema is joined by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D), who also opposes scrapping the filibuster.

“If I haven’t said it very plain, maybe Sen. McConnell hasn’t understood, I want to basically say it for you. That I will not vote in this Congress, that’s two years, right? I will not vote” to change the filibuster, Manchin told Politico in a late-January interview. “And I hope with that guarantee in place he will work in a much more amicable way.”

Despite Biden having called for a $15 minimum wage multiple times, he told CBS on Sunday that the provision would likely not show up in the final coronavirus package due to it not being a budgetary item and not being related to giving Americans pandemic relief.

“I do think that we should have a minimum wage, stand by itself [at] $15 an hour,” Biden said to CBS’ Norah O’Donnell. “Well, apparently, that’s not going to occur because of the rules of the United States Senate. […] I don’t think it’s going to survive.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading


Massachusetts Democrat Mayor wants to end ‘right-to-shelter’ law amidst migrant crisis



GettyImages 1086451916 scaled

More Democrat leaders from non-border states are wising up to the immigration crisis our nation faces. Woburn mayor Scott Galvin, of the progressive state of Massachusetts, is hoping that lawmakers will overturn a 40-year-old law because the reality of being “bleeding heart liberals” is resulting in the demise of his town.

The 40-year-old “right-to-shelter” law has got to go, says mayor Galvin, because of the immense strain the thousands of migrant families are putting on the area’s residents. By Friday, there were about 150 families living in the city’s hotels, an “unsustainable” arrangement for his 40,000 constituents.

Galvin told the New York Times the right-to-shelter law, which only exists in Massachusetts, was “passed at a different time, and was not meant to cover what we’re seeing now.”

National Review reports:

Under the 1983 right-to-shelter law, Massachusetts officials are legally required to offer housing to any homeless families seeking shelter in the state. The law now covers a rising influx of migrant families, although individuals are not covered under its provisions.

“We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools,” said Galvin. “The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination, and without some changes, this challenge is not going to abate.”

Massachusetts Democrat Governor Maura Healey already declared a state of emergency on August 8th, requesting help from the federal government. On August 31, Healey activated up to 250 Massachusetts National Guard members to assist the more than 6,000 migrant families already in the state’s shelter system.

Approximately 6,300 families are living in emergency shelters and hotels across the state, up roughly 50 percent from the year prior. The cost for such accommodations for all the migrants is approximately $45 million per month, National Review reports.

You may like

Continue Reading