Hassan and Shaheen vote against Sanders’ minimum wage amendment

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U.S Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

WASHINGTON – On Friday, New Hampshire’s members of the U.S. Senate voted against a proposed amendment by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to the American Rescue Plan Act that would institute a federal $15 an hour minimum wage.

With the American Rescue Plan Act (HR 1319) being pursued through the Congressional reconciliation process, earlier this week the Senate Parliamentarian provided her opinion that adding an amendment to raise the minimum wage as part of HR 1319 would violate the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which instituted the framework for the reconciliation process.

Sanders’ amendment pursing the minimum wage change, Senate Amendment 972, was one of 108 amendments to an initial amendment to the bill by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

After approximately 90 minutes of discussion, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) moved that Sanders’ amendment was incompatible with the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, leading to the vote.

Hassan voted against the measure due to the infeasibility of Sanders’ amendment, not opposition to raising the minimum wage.

“People who work 40 hours a week should be able to get by and shouldn’t be living at or below poverty level. I’ve long supported raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour and I’m open to $15 an hour. We need a path forward that is appropriate for workers and small businesses and could actually pass,” said Hassan.

Shaheen told WMUR earlier today that she would also support a minimum wage increase in a separate bill tied to support for small business.

The amendment failed to move forward on a 42-58 vote. Other members of the Democratic caucus joining Hassan and Shaheen were Chris Coons and Tom Carper of Delaware, Angus King of Maine, Jon Tester of Montana, Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.