Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said on Tuesday that his aim is to unite the Democrats behind President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill, which is known as the American Rescue Plan.
Schumer says moderate Democrats must get behind the bill because not doing so would be a political catastrophe. Some moderate Democrats, like Senator Kyrten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), take issue with the $15 minimum wage included in the bill.
Chuck Schumer views this as an opportunity to push “bold” laws to address the pandemic.
“I made an argument today to our people and I said that we must pass this legislation,” Schumer explained after the virtual meeting with the Democrats, The Hill reported. “The American public demands this and everyone will have things they want in the bill and we’ll try to see if we can get those things included in the bill.”
“But the first priority is to pass it,” Schumer said. “And I am sure we will do that.”
It’s highly unlikely the GOP will vote for the relief bill, especially considering the non-pandemic items that are in the bill. The minimum wage is just one of these. Schumer must keep Democrats united. Because of their tiny majority in the Senate, he cannot afford to lose any votes.