COVID-19 bill must drop minimum wage hike, arbiter decides

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate parliamentarian has dealt a potentially lethal blow to Democrats’ drive to hike the minimum wage, deciding that the cherished progressive goal must fall from a massive COVID-19 relief bill the party is trying to speed through Congress.

The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber’s nonpartisan arbiter of its rules, comes as Democrats prepare for House approval Friday of an initial version of the $1.9 trillion package that still includes the minimum wage boost.

It also forces Democrats to make politically painful choices about what to do next on the minimum wage, which has long caused internal party rifts.

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