A top Senate official has ruled that Democratic lawmakers are not allowed to include a provision that would increase the federal minimum wage in the COVID-19 stimulus bill currently before Congress per the rules of the assembly.
The official who made the decision was Elizabeth MacDonough, who serves as Senate parliamentarian, a role that interprets the body's rules and past precedent. MacDonough reportedly met privately with senators from both parties over the last week to consider the arguments for and against including a $15 per hour wage increase in the stimulus bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) said he was disappointed with MacDonough's decision.
"We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families," he said. "The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality."
Democratic lawmakers were hoping to attach the wage bill to the stimulus package as a way of circumventing the Senate filibuster.