Senate Democrats are slated to discuss the next steps toward raising the federal minimum wage on Tuesday, according to a Democratic source.
The meeting is the partyâ€™s first attempt at restarting efforts to hike the minimum wage after a progressive push to include a $15 per hourÂ minimum wage in the COVID-19 relief bill died earlier this month.
Seven Democrats â€• Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.); Chris Coons (Del.); Tom Carper (Del.); Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.); Maggie Hassan (N.H.); and Jon Tester (Mont.) â€• as well as one independent, Sen. Angus King (Maine), voted with the Republicans against including the $15 minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
Tuesdayâ€™s meeting will include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), relevant committee chairs including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) â€• and the seven moderates who voted against Sandersâ€™ $15 minimum wage proposal.
Sandersâ€™ bill would have given an estimated 27 million workers raises over the next four years and pulled more than 1 million out of poverty, according to recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.Â
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which has not been increased in more than a decade. Sandersâ€™ amendment would also have eliminated the tipped minimum age, which allows employers to pay a lower base wage as long as the workers receive gratuities. The tipped minimum wage is currently $2.13 per hour.
The prospect for raising the minimum wage will ultimately depend on bipartisan cooperation, as well as a unified Democratic caucus.Â
Manchin, in particular, has said he wants a more narrow increase to $11 an hour over the next two years in order to shield business owners. Heâ€™s been trying to convince Republicans to back his proposal, handing out cards detailing his plan to GOP senators including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also expressed an interest in raising the federal minimum wage.
â€œI personally support an increase in the minimum wage â€• not to $15 â€• but I think we need one,â€ she said last month.