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Minimum Wage Hike All But Dead In Big COVID Relief Bill

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Activists appeal for a $15 minimum wage near the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill being prepped in Congress includes a provision that over five years would hike the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP) — Democrats’ hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their huge COVID-19 relief bill seem all but dead. That’s become clear as Senate leaders prepare to bring their own version of the House-passed aid package to the chamber’s floor as early as Wednesday. Aides say top Democrats have abandoned a potential amendment threatening tax increases on big companies that don’t boost workers’ pay to certain levels. Last week the Senate parliamentarian said the chamber’s rules forbade inclusion of a straight-out minimum wage increase in the relief measure. For now, Democrats seem to have exhausted their most realistic options for quickly salvaging the pay hike.

 

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