Levin Joins Khanna, Tlaib, Progressives Urging Biden Admin to Overrule Senate Parliamentarian on Minimum Wage

March 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) joined Reps. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and 20 other progressive members of Congress in sending a letter to President Joe Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris urging them to render their own decision as the representatives of the American people that a $15 minimum wage can be included in the American Rescue Plan under the Senate’s current rules. 

Citing both concrete precedent and the severity of the economic crisis, the members’ letter requests that senators maintain the $15/hour minimum wage raise under a proper reading the arcane “Byrd rule.” Should the Senate parliamentarian be overruled, Republicans would need 60 votes to prevent the bill from moving forward with the minimum wage provision included.

“I’ve been fighting to get working people better pay my entire life, and I’m not about to give up that fight now,” said Rep. Andy Levin. “When I go home to Michigan and my constituents ask me why they didn’t get the raise we promised them, an excuse about arcane procedures is not going to cut it. It’s not going to help them pay their bills, and it’s not going to pump billions of dollars into our economy. Only a $15 minimum wage is going to do that. We need to do everything in our power to get this done.”

“For four years, Progressives have been negotiating in good faith, putting our bold agenda at the center of the American consciousness in the hopes that our country does indeed share our commitment to building a better future,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “This ruling is a bridge too far. We’ve been asked, politely but firmly, to compromise on nearly all of our principles and goals. Not this time. If we don’t overrule the Senate parliamentarian, we are condoning poverty wages for millions of Americans. That’s why I’m leading my colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to lean on the clear precedent and overrule this misguided decision. Give America a raise.”

“Millions of Americans are depending on their elected representatives to do everything possible to deliver them a raise,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “We are urging Vice President Kamala Harris to use her power as president of the United States Senate to push back against an archaic procedure and overrule the Senate Parliamentarian’s advice on the Byrd Rule. Our residents do not have any more time to wait for us to increase the federal minimum wage. Families are struggling to put food on the table while CEOs make record profit during a pandemic. It is time that we show up for those we represent and earn our pay by giving families the raise they deserve.”

The full letter can be viewed here or below.

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