WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in Congress continue to push their leaders to find a way to pass a $15 minimum wage while simultaneously unveiling their plan for a tax on what they call the ultrarich.
“We have watched the wealth of the billionaire class in America increase more than a trillion dollars over the last year,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The proposal would impose a tax of 2% on households’ total net worth valued between $50 million and $1 billion.
The tax increases to 3% on those worth more than $1 billion. “A two-cent wealth tax would just help level the playing field,” said Warren.
But some Democrats aren’t giving up the fight for a $15 minimum wage.
They’re calling on Vice President Kamala Harris to force a Senate vote to put the wage hike back in the COVID-19 relief bill.
“Overruling the parliamentarian is not unprecedented. Hubert Humphry did it in 1967 and 1969. Rockefeller did it,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Though it’s not clear all democrats are on board. President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki threw cold water on the idea.
“The president, the vice president, have made the decision they’re not going to move forward with that step,” said Psaki.
Republicans charge the wage hike could force many struggling small businesses to shutter. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the increase could cost 1.4 million jobs.
“I mean, if this was ever a good idea, it’s not a good idea to do during a pandemic,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Meanwhile, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief Package, which includes $1,400 checks for most Americans, is now in the hands of the Senate.
Democratic leaders hope to have it on President Biden’s desk by the middle of the month.