Biden, progressive Democrats heading toward clash over $15 federal minimum wage

Politics
In this Jan. 28, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Biden campaigned on raising the national minimum wage to $15 per hour and attached a proposal doing just that to the $1.9 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In this Jan. 28, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Biden campaigned on raising the national minimum wage to $15 per hour and attached a proposal doing just that to the $1.9 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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The Biden administration and progressive Democrats are heading for their first big policy clash over whether to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of the upcoming COVID-19 stimulus bill.

Progressives, who have long rallied for the policy, say it would help stimulate an economy hampered by the pandemic. They view the bill as the best vehicle to get the wage increase passed into law.

President Biden supports the goal, but is pumping the brakes on whether it should be part of the stimulus package. For starters, Biden, a pragmatist who spent decades in the Senate, worries a minimum-wage hike provision will be deemed inappropriate under the special reconciliation process that Democrats are using to pass the bill.

The Senate parliamentarian is expected to issue a preliminary ruling as early as next week on whether the wage hike can be included, and Biden has notably not endorsed the calls of some Democrats who want to overrule any decision that would prevent its inclusion.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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