Ohio's Democratic Senator Confident Minimum Wage Hike Will Be Quick And "Substantial"
Ohio’s Democratic senior US Senator says he’s confident the minimum wage will be raised quickly and substantially, even though a provision to hike it to $15 an hour won’t be included in the latest $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.
Sen. Sherrod Brown said though the Senate parliamentarian ruled the increase can’t be included in the COVID aid package, Democrats will find a way to hike it because it’s what voters want.
“They don’t care about all the inner machinations going on in Congress. They don’t care how we do it," Brown said. "It’s up to us to figure out how we substantially increase wages in this country.”
Brown wouldn’t get specific on a conference call with local Democratic officeholders on how the COVID relief bill will help their communities. But he said Democrats are united in supporting a substantial increase.
“We will move quickly and we’ll figure this out. I’m not going to debate on a call like this on how exactly we’re going to do it. I’m talking to Sen. [Ron] Wyden (D-OR), talking to Sen. [Chuck] Schumer (D-NY). We have overwhelming support on the Democratic side for a substantial increase in the minimum wage," Brown said.
But Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are opposed to the $15 an hour proposal.
Republicans Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tom Cotton (R-OK) have proposed a hike to $10 an hour tied to a requirement that employers use the E-verify system to check the citizenship of workers.
Ohio's Republican Sen. Rob Portman also supports that plan.
The Higher Wages for American Workers Act will do 2 things:
1. Raise the minimum wage in a responsible manner.
2. Mandate E-verify to ensure that businesses only hire legal workers.
This is a good deal for American workers, businesses & families.— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) February 26, 2021
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau