Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would grow the deficit by $54 billion over a decade, Congress’s independent budget scorekeeper estimated Monday.
That prediction of a deficit pile-up could work in Sanders’ (I-Vt.) favor as he fights to include the minimum wage increase in the package Democrats are crafting to enact President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.
Under the fast-tracked budget process Democrats could use to clear the aid package with just 51 votes in the Senate, the bill must have a direct and substantial impact on federal spending, revenues or the debt. So the Congressional Budget Office score is a boon for Democrats fighting for the minimum wage hike to be included, even as Biden casts doubt on whether it would past muster under Senate rules for the reconciliation process.
“What that means is that we can clearly raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour under the rules of reconciliation,” Sanders said about CBO’s predictions.
“Let’s be clear. We are never going to get 10 Republicans to increase the minimum wage through ‘regular order,’” said Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “The only way to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour now is to pass it with 51 votes through budget reconciliation.”
The wage proposal, S. 53 (117), would gradually hike the federal hourly minimum from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 and index future increases to median wage growth. It would also eliminate the sub-minimum tipped wage.
Monday, February 8, 2021
“Congressman Wright will be remembered as a constitutional conservative. He was a statesman, not an ideologue,” according to a statement released by Wright’s office. “Ron and Susan dedicated their lives to fighting for individual freedom, Texas values, and above all, the lives of the unborn. As friends, family, and many of his constituents will know, Ron maintained his quick wit and optimism until the very end. Despite years of painful, sometimes debilitating treatment for cancer, Ron never lacked the desire to get up and go to work, to motivate those around him, or to offer fatherly advice.”
According to the statement, Wright had been keeping a vigorous work scheduled before contracting the virus. Two weeks ago Wright and his wife were admitted to Baylor hospital in Dallas because of COVID-19 side effects.
Wright, a former Tarrant County Tax Assessor, is survived by his wife, Susan; his daughter Rachel, his sons Derek and Justin, his brother, Gary and nine grandchildren.
House Republican Congressman-elect Luke Letlow of Louisiana died at the end of last year, but Republicans ignored his death, saying his heart attack had absolutely nothing to do with his COVID-19 diagnosis when of course Letlow had no evidence of heart issues and was only 41, with right-wing news listing Letlow's death as solely from a heart attack.
House Democratic leaders will unveil legislation Monday that would give millions of families at least $3,000 per child, advancing a key provision in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.
Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal, who is leading the crafting of the legislation for the stimulus package, will introduce the enhanced Child Tax Credit bill, according to a committee spokesperson.
"The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it's devastating. We are making the Child Tax Credit more generous, more accessible, and by paying it out monthly, this money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone's head or food on their table," Neal said in a statement provided to CNN.
CNN obtained a copy of the 22-page bill. The Washington Post first reported on it.
The legislation would provide $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child age six through 17 for a single year. The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000. Payments would phase out after those thresholds.
Families can receive the Child Tax Credit payments on a monthly basis, which advocates say will make it easier to pay their obligations compared to getting a lump sum at tax time.
If this particular legislation is passed by Congress, the payments would begin in July for one year.
Another big change: The credit would become fully refundable for the year. Some 27 million children currently live in low-income families who receive a partial or no tax credit because they earn too little, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The current Child Tax Credit provides up to $2,000 per child under the age of 17. The credit phases out for single parents with a modified adjusted gross income over $200,000, and $400,000 for married couples. Families receive a single payment.
Some 90% of families with children will receive an average credit of $2,380 in 2020, according to a non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimate.
Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Suzan DelBene of Washington and Ritchie Torres of New York are also set to introduce on Monday standalone legislation that would continue the expanded benefit permanently.
- George Shultz, Treasury Secretary under Nixon and Secretary of State under Reagan, has died at age 100 in his California home.
- Reversing Trump policy, the Biden administration is making a major push to expand LGTBQ+ rights worldwide through the State Department.
- President Biden says it will be a "challenge" for America to reach COVID-19 herd immunity status by the end of the summer.
- The government of Hatian President Jovenel Moise has arrested at least 20 people on suspicion of a coup to kill Moise and overthrow the Haitian government.
- Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar has introduced the biggest overhaul to antitrust regulations in more than four decades in new legislation called CALERA.