Republicans rallying solidly against Democrats’ COVID-19 virus relief package

National Politics
Mitch McConnell

In this Jan. 3, 2021, photo, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., adjusts his face mask as he participates in a swearing-in reenactment ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington. McConnell thinks it’s dangerous for his party to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s election triumph. But when a joint session of Congress meets Wednesday, Jan. 6, to formally affirm Biden’s electoral college victory over President Donald Trump, some Republicans are charging ahead anyway (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON — Republicans are rallying solidly against Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. But even as they do, lawmakers are awaiting a decision by the Senate’s parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage.

Democrats plan to push the sweeping package through the House on Friday.

They were hoping the Senate would follow quickly enough to have legislation on President Joe Biden’s desk by mid-March.

The big suspense is over whether the nonpartisan parliamentarian will decide if the minimum wage plan can stay in the bill and enjoy its protection against a GOP filibuster.

Democrats hope to include a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republican senators have proposed a package that would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, a figure that hasn’t changed since 2009.

The package proposed by the Democrats would distribute $1,400 checks to most Americans. If passed, those checks could be delivered as soon as next month.

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