Patriotic Millionaires to Vice President Harris:
USE YOUR POWER, KEEP $15 IN
Washington, DC — Today, the Patriotic Millionaires urged Vice President Kamala Harris to disregard the opinion of the Senate Parliamentarian and to include the $15 federal minimum wage provision in COVID relief legislation under consideration in the Senate. As the President of the Senate, Vice President Harris has the power to disregard the recommendation of the Parliamentarian, choose to include the provision in the final budget reconciliation bill, and proceed to the vote.
Patriotic Millionaires Chair Morris Pearl, a former Blackrock Executive, said:
“If Vice President Kamala Harris decides to use her Constitutional power to disregard the decision of the Parliamentarian and tell the clerk to call the roll for the vote, the ONLY WAY Vice President Harris’ decision could be overruled is with 60 votes. Overruling Vice President Harris’ decision would require 10 Democrats to break ranks with their party, their President, and the first female Vice President of color in the history of the country, all in order to deny tens of millions of working people in America a wage they might actually be able to live on.
Because there is no possibility of 10 Democrats breaking ranks, if the Vice President of the United States decides to use the power that is granted to her in the Constitution, every lawmaker in America would then have to publicly vote to either support working people or continue to exploit human beings for profit.
This is not a difficult decision. Use your power. Keep $15 in.”
Three weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office, the official budget arm of the US Congress, determined that the $15 minimum wage provision would impact the budget by tens of billions of dollars, clearly meeting the requirements of the “Byrd rule.” Under the Byrd rule, the Senate can’t include “extraneous matter” via the reconciliation process. Provisions that don’t change revenues or outlays (or change them in a way that is “merely incidental”) are considered “extraneous.”
The CBO concluded that the $15 federal minimum wage provision had a greater fiscal impact than two provisions the same Parliamentarian approved for inclusion in the 2017 budget reconciliation legislation. Those provisions were:
Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, which the CBO estimated would reduce the deficit by $110 million per year.
Repealing the ACA individual mandate penalties, which the CBO estimated would reduce the deficit by $33 billion per year.
The CBO determined that the $15 federal minimum wage provision would impact the budget in the following ways:
Earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit (CTC) expenditures would decline by $6.5 billion or more annually.
Expenditures on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other major government transfers would fall by $5.2 billion or more annually.
The $15 federal minimum wage in 2025 would increase annual Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) revenue by $7 billion or more.
It is worth noting that in 2001 Republicans were in the same position, facing an unfavorable Parliamentarian ruling in a 50/50 Senate with Cheney as President of the Senate. They fired the Parliamentarian who made a decision they didn’t like.
This week, More than 150 CEOs of the nation’s largest companies have endorsed the package as a whole, including the $15 minimum wage, while 62% of voters report supporting a $15 minimum wage. This widespread support among the public and the business community underscores the fact that this policy is desperately needed.
For more information, email Sam Quigley at [email protected].
About the Patriotic Millionaires
Proud “traitors to their class,” members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a more stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system. You can find out more at https://patrioticmillionaires.org/about/
The Patriotic Millionaires have appeared on hundreds of media outlets here and abroad, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and many others. You can find more coverage at https://patrioticmillionaires.org/media
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