Last updated on February 28, 2021
Received this e-mail from MoveOn.org:
Dear MoveOn member,
This is a make-it-or-break-it week for Democrats, who are poised to start voting on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, including an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour.1
All 50 senators in the Democratic caucus are needed to pass the bill, using special budget rules that prevent Mitch McConnell and the GOP from filibustering it.
But at least two Democratic senators are putting the bill at risk, saying they won't support increasing the minimum wage—even though it would lift nearly 1 million people out of poverty and increase pay for a stunning 21% of U.S. workers.2,3,4
This is the Democrats' moment. And they need to deliver to a country ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and massive racial and economic inequality. But that means being strong—and not negotiating with themselves when they don't need a single Republican vote.
That's why MoveOn is springing into action to pressure the two clear Democratic holdouts—Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—as well as other senators if needed, to vote for President Biden's plan. But we need your help to have the resources to do it:
Will you chip in $3 right now to help put up ads, organize events in their states, enable us to connect with tens of thousands of their constituents about what's at stake and how they can help, and do everything else that is needed to win their votes and pass the COVID relief bill with a $15 minimum wage?
With the pandemic exposing America's deep racial disparities, the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, calls the fight for a $15 minimum wage “our Selma.”5
He explains, “Just as the Selma campaign became a symbol during the civil rights movement of the need for legislation to expand voting rights, the $15 an hour minimum wage proposal in Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan represents the possibility that our government can take decisive action to make racial justice real today.”6
But the latest media reports describe the bill as “essentially in the hands of possible dissenters like [Sen.] Manchin.”7
Sam, we need to do everything we can to keep the minimum wage increase in the COVID relief bill, and time is of the essence.
President Biden's COVID relief bill, including increasing the minimum wage, is wildly popular.8 But Democrats need to stop chasing their tail and get it done.
Thanks for all you do.
–Mohammad, Mark, Manny, Melissa, and the rest of the team
1. “The House is set to pass Biden's Covid relief bill this week – here's what's next,” CNBC, February 23, 2021
2. “House Prepares to Pass Biden’s COVID Relief Bill This Week,” New York, February 22, 2021
3. “Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would lift 900,000 people out of poverty while adding $54 billion to the deficit, CBO report finds,” Insider, February 8, 2021
4. “Why the U.S. needs a $15 minimum wage,” Economic Policy Institute, January 26, 2021
5. “The Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage Is Our Selma,” Time, February 17, 2021
7. “House Prepares to Pass Biden’s COVID Relief Bill This Week,” New York, February 22, 2021
8. “Republicans Struggle to Derail Increasingly Popular Stimulus Package,” The New York Times, February 19, 2021
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