Don't fall for the act. Peacock progressives couldn't care less about the minimum wage.

Bernie Sanders

Much hay has been made - mostly by professional leftist agitators inside and outside Congress - about whether Vice President Kamala Harris should simply ignore the Senate rules, as applied by its nonpartisan parliamentarian, to insert a measure to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in the COVID legislation the Senate is considering under special rules that allow its passage by a majority vote.

Here at Reclaim the Fight, I have made the case that the Parliamentarian is correct in her application of the rules that a minimum wage measure would be out of order, that as the expert on rules she deserves as much deference when it comes to Senate rules as Dr. Anthony Fauci does when it comes to the spread of infectious disease, and that if the Vice President ignores the Parliamentarian for a crassly political end that none other than Bernie Sanders has armed Republicans with the plausible claim will cost jobs, the repercussions would be severe and stall the President's agenda and personnel.

But what hasn't been talked about much is whether leftists who are on TV every day trying to look like they are fighting to increase the minimum wage actually want the minimum wage to go up. Their actions cast serious doubts.

The fact is that they are fighting harder to blow up the Senate rules than to actually find a realistic path to pass legislation to increase the minimum wage. Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, and members of a chat group they are strategizing to try to pressure the White House to essentially unconstitutionally pass the bill, since the Constitution gives the Senate the power to make its own rules, and the rules - not the parliamentarian, the rules - preclude the inclusion of minimum wage legislation in budget reconciliation. By chasing after a pipe dream, they are wasting valuable time and energy they could use instead to figure out how they will raise the minimum wage under regular order instead.

It is notable that despite what I imagine must have been frantic searching, even Ro Khanna has been unable to find a single instance in Senate history where the Vice President, in their role as President of the Senate, disregarded the expert opinion of a parliamentarian with regard to legislation. In a press release on Monday, Khanna cited a few instances of vice presidents in the 1960s and 1970s setting aside the opinion of a parliamentarian that were all - without exception - related to changing the rules of the Senate but never to legislation.

Does it make a difference whether a vice president ignored the parliamentarian on changing the rules or on legislation? It does. The Constitution gives the Senate inherent powers to make their own rules, and it can be easily accepted that any rule denying a majority of Senators that right is in and of itself unconstitutional. No such claim can be made for legislation, because the Constitutional rulemaking power exists precisely so that legislation and other business of the Senate must then conform to those rules.

But I digress.

Bernie Sanders, though he has agreed to remove the minimum wage provision from the COVID legislation when it is presented on the floor (this week, according to Majority Leader Schumer), he is promising to offer it as an amendment and seek a vote on that amendment to put every senator on record.

When Sanders moves that amendment, if conventional wisdom prevails, a Republican Senator will object and raise a point of order, and Sanders's amendment will be ruled out of order under the Budget reconciliation process for the same reasons it couldn't be kept in the original legislation to begin with. Sanders then plans to ask for a waiver, which would require 60 votes. That would fail, but Sanders would get Senators on record, for whatever that is worth.

But if Republicans are smart, they will offer no such point of order - the amendment can't be excluded if no one raises apoint of order - and allow a vote on Sanders's amendment, offering it a chance to pass with a simple majority vote.

If that happens, the amendment will still fail, because, the open secret about the peacock-left's push on this is that they know the Senate does not have 50 votes to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The $15 amount, while widely accepted in progressive circles and championed by President Biden himself, is a threshold too high to be met in this Senate. No Republican would support the measure, and at least one Democrat, Joe Manchin, won't, either. Manchin has suggested an $11 minimum wage.

The sad truth is that the self-anointed gatekeepers of progressivism have had almost a decade work on building a coalition in Congress to make a $15 minimum wage a reality, and instead of doing the grunt-work of persuading their colleagues, they have prefered the limelight of social media stardom and campaign concerts. A vote on Sanders's amendment would expose this catastrophic failure they have no one to blame for but themselves.

That's the reason they are freaking out, trying one last Hail Mary to push Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into shredding the senate rules. Khanna has mused openly that any Democrat - even Manchin - would be hard-pressed to sink the entire COVID package even if it included a minimum wage they didn't like. But offered either independently or as an amendment, voting against it poses no risk to the larger COVID legislation, and suddenly leftists will find themselves without the leverage to cover up the embarrassment of their own spectacular failure to bridge a one-vote gap on an issue they can't stop peacocking about.

And that's what this is about: covering up their own failure to deliver, pressuring the vice president to make up for their own inadequacies. The "progressive" peacock caucus could care less about raising the minimum wage. They don't care about the minimum wage except as a issue to grandstand over. If they cared, after the announcement that the Senate rules will not allow a $15 minimum wage in the COVID package, they would have worked day and night to secure the votes for the best increase they could get through regular order.

It's not like the minimum wage is dead after the COVID legislation. There are several proposals - from both Democrats and Republicans - for progressives to work with if they really want a minimum wage increase. Sure, it may not be $15, and it might come with a catch, like employment verification. But there is still a deal to be had outside of reconciliation, and any legislator who sincerely cares about increasing the wage America's lowest paid workers are paid would be working those channels. They know they lost the reconciliation battle, and if they actually cared about workers, they would be trying to find another way to raise the wage.

But they're not. They want to be seen as '#FightingFor15' much more than they care about actually increasing the minimum wage by even a dollar.

Bet that.

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