(TheConservativeNews.org) – When a deadly pandemic arrives in your country, putting pressure on public health systems and crippling the economy, you might expect partisan politics to take a backseat. In America, however, exactly the opposite has happened. Buoyed by the sheer panic COVID-19 has caused, some opportunistic politicians have weaponized the crisis over and over again.
The latest example of this arose on Wednesday, February 24, and involved none other than the darling of the hard left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
COVID-19 Relief & the Minimum Wage
AOC and other Democrat representatives threatened to withdraw support for the COVID-19 relief package currently on the table if a provision to increase the federal minimum wage is not included. The $1.9-trillion stimulus bill would offer a relief check to most American taxpayers and would also grant extra benefits to the unemployed from federal coffers.
Indeed, while the minimum wage increase was part of the bill, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it must be severed, which of course, threw Democrats into a hissy fit.
The relief package has attracted its fair share of criticism from Conservatives, many of whom see it as too expensive. Ordinarily, they could block it with a Senate filibuster because this bill relates to the budget, Democrats may be able to use the “reconciliation” rule to pass it with a simple majority.
However, a minimum wage increase may not be sufficiently budget-related to qualify for the exception. Assuming every senator votes along party lines, this call would rest with Vice President Kamala Harris who can override the parliamentarian.
With the vaccine rollout still several months away from completion, millions of ordinary Americans are in dire need of financial help. Increasing the minimum wage is hardly what lawmakers need to be focused on right now.
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