Bernie Sanders 'confident' parliamentarian will advise for $15 minimum wage through reconciliation

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., previewed his priorities as chairman of the budget committee. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Saturday he is "confident" the Senate parliamentarian will endorse a $15 federal minimum wage requirement through reconciliation, according to reports.

House Democrats on Feb. 10 approved a $15 minimum wage proposal in President Biden's COVID-19 spending package despite Republican concerns that it could slash job numbers, cause a price hike for some consumer goods and does not account for differences in operating costs in different states.

"I’m confident that the parliamentarian will advise next week that we can raise the minimum wage through the reconciliation process," Sanders said in a statement to Fox News.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., questions former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., as she testifies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said he is "proud" of Democrats' arguments to the parliamentarian saying a federal minimum wage requirement is "permissible under the rules of reconciliation."

Sanders' office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.

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Moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have both said they oppose including the $15 minimum wage in the stimulus package.

Typically, a bill needs 60 out of 100 votes to pass in the Senate because of the filibuster, but under the reconciliation process, paage is possible with a simple majority. The reconciliation process can only be used for a provision like the minimum wage proposal, however, if it is in line with the "Byrd Rule."

The Byrd Rule states that reconciliation proposals must cause a change in federal spending, including Social Security spending and the national deficit.

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Sanders added in his statement that the Congressional Budget Office found that a $15 minimum wage would have a more significant impact on the federal budget than previous provisions that did not violate the Byrd Act, including "opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and repealing the individual mandate penalties."

A man walks out of a Marc’s Store, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file)

The CBO sent a letter to Sanders on Monday in response to a request from his office for "information about the breadth of the budgetary effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021…as compared with certain other reconciliation legislation that the Congressional Budget Office has analyzed in the past."

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A $15 federal minimum wage hike would impact "most areas of the budget," the CBO found, including major health care programs such as Medicaid, unemployment spending, Social Security spending, other types of federal spending like student loans and various forms of tax revenue.

The requirement would also increase the national deficit by $54 billion over a decade.

A CBO study released on Feb. 8 found that increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025 would cut employment by 1.4 million but would lift roughly 900,000 Americans out of poverty.

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Sanders told reporters last week that Senate Democrats were "feeling good" and think they have "a good shot" at increasing the minimum wage by more than $7.00.

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"We’ve got millions of workers working for starvation wages," he said. "We’ve got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour and that’s what the American people want and that’s what I intend to do."

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