Kyrsten Sinema has been a good Senator for all Arizonans.
I voted for her in 2018 and will probably do so again if she is the Democratic nominee in 2024.
That said, it does not mean I have to agree with her on every issue to support her.
Her position, articulated on February 12, 2021, on the inclusion of a minimum wage increase in the American Rescue Act, is one of the issues I disagree with her on.
As reported by Politico, Senator Sinema said:
“What’s important is whether or not it’s directly related to short-term Covid relief. And if it’s not, then I am not going to support it in this legislation. The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process. It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there.”
The Arizona Senator also said she would not support overruling the Parliamentarian on this and any other issues.
Last month, she and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin voiced opposition to eliminating the filibuster.
To be fair to Sinema, President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, said that he felt the minimum wage would not be included in the final version of the American Rescue Act.
With respect to Senator Sinema, the Senate should try to include an increase in the minimum wage in the American Rescue Act.
There are 40 states in this country that have a lower minimum wage than Arizona’s $12.00 an hour.
Twenty of these states (mostly Red ones) have minimum wages set at the current federal limit of $7.25 an hour.
How can anyone live on $7.25 an hour?
Senator Sinema would like an increase in the minimum wage to be considered in separate legislation.
In a perfect world where the Senate would debate the issue and then vote on the measure, Sinema’s worldview would work.
But in this reality where members of the former Party of Lincoln have routinely filibustered any measure designed to advance social justice, a minimum wage increase would never be approved by the Senate.
Senators Sinema and Manchin should realize that. They are not political morons.
They should change their position and negotiate a minimum wage increase that lifts people out of poverty and saves jobs with their Democratic colleagues that could be included in the American Rescue Act.
A Minimum Wage increase is essential to the recovery of the American People and Economy.
If necessary, Vice President Kamala Harris should overrule the Senate Parliamentarian if that person finds the minimum wage does not belong in the legislation.
Otherwise, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 for the foreseeable future.
The people in the country deserve better.
Senator Sinema needs to rethink her position on including the minimum wage increase in the American Rescue Act.